Indo-Pak friendship in best interests of Jammu-Kashmir: Mehbooba Mufti

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

Srinagar (Jammu & Kashmir) [India], Aug 14 (ANI): In her message to the people of the state on the eve of Independence Day, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti stressed that friendship between India and Pakistan is in the best interests of Jammu and Kashmir. "It is the people of the State who bear the brunt of bitterness in relations between the two countries," Mufti said, adding that due to the recent tension along the Line of Control (LoC), hundreds of people living close to borders in the State had to migrate to safer places. "Many of them lost their lives, schools in these areas got closed and a lot of them were rendered homeless", she said in her address. Describing dialogue as the only way ahead to sort out issues, the Chief Minister said it is her firm belief that dialogue always gives the best solution to any problem. She added that the agenda of Alliance of the present Government has also declared that dialogue with all stakeholders in Jammu & Kashmir is the only way forward. She said democracy is the battle of ideas and ideas can't be jailed adding, "A better idea only can defeat another idea", she said. Chief Minister Mufti today asserted that the constitutional position enjoyed by the State provides a sound basis of cooperation, mutual trust and tolerance between the people of the State and rest of the country. She also said that this position was the result of "reciprocity" of the sentiments of Jammu and Kashmir people and rest of the country following the elevation of 1947. "When the situation in the entire sub continent was very bad, people of J&K, by acceding to the union, chose a democratic system based on shared ideals of democracy, tolerance and mutual trust," she said, adding that the constitutional status enjoyed by the state of Jammu & Kashmir in the Union is unparallel and that protecting and strengthening is the collective responsibility of all of us. Mufti said the legislative powers enjoyed by the State Legislature, were exemplified recently during the GST Act formulation. "The House debated the issues and the Presidential Order on the subject also ratified the Legislative competence and authority of our Assembly," Mufti said in her address. However, the Chief Minister said that despite having lost too much to the violence of the past three decades, people have held high the values and principles Jammu & Kashmir is known for, to this she said that this can be shown by the solidarity with which the people of J&K stood up against the killing of Amarnath yatris recently and is a case example. "This not only reflected the peaceful nature and value system of our people, it also created a soft corner for our people elsewhere in the country", the Chief Minister remarked in her address. Describing youth as the future hope of the times, Mehbooba Mufti said that in them she sees the dreams of a better future. "A future where there is development, respect, guarantee for identity and definitely peace also. We owe it to them. It's our duty and responsibility too", she said. She appealed to the people for working united for realizing the dreams of our future generation. Describing unemployment as a major challenge, the Chief Minister said her Government is ensuring transparency in recruitments in the Government. Mufti said that the execution of Rs. 80, 000 crore Prime Minister's Development Package has started unfolding in the State. She also said that the State Government has formulated an ambitious connectivity plan under which not only the State but the rest of the country, through improved road networks. "Recently the Prime Minister inaugurated Chennai-Nashri tunnel on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway and with the completion of another tunnel at Qazigund the distance on the highway would greatly decrease thus ensuring State's improved connectivity with rest of the country", she said. On the development front, the Chief Minister said work is apace on all the five medical colleges in the State. She said many nursing colleges are under construction which on completion would be a landmark in the history of medical education in the State. Mehbooba Mufti further said that as she had promised the State Government got Srinagar and Jammu cities included in the list to be developed as Smart cities with all the modern facilities of future urban life. Keeping in view the ravages of floods of 2014, she said, the State Government has launched a Flood Management project under which dredging in Jhelum and other flood protection works are being undertaken expeditiously. She said important initiatives have been taken by her Government in sector like horticulture, handicrafts and tourism which are expected to rejuvenate them. "My Government has started a helicopter service to far flung and cut off areas to give relief to the people of these areas," said Mufti. Seeking support and cooperation of people in fulfilling the developmental dreams for the State, the Chief Minister said peace and people's support are the two crucial components without which the developmental objective cannot be achieved. She in particular credited youth for their contribution in maintaining peace in the State saying with further improvement on this count the developmental process in the State would take a bigger push, tourism would pick up which consequently would lead to more jobs and thus realizing the dreams of our youth.(ANI)