Srinagar: Urging restoration of complete peace and ceasefire on the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB) with Pakistan, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president, Mehbooba Mufti Monday said the two countries can’t ignore the yearning for peace in Jammu and Kashmir without pushing the region into more miseries.
Addressing a number of roadside meetings in Doru segment of her Anantanag parliamentary constituency, she said the PDP wants to make it clear to the national leadership and the government of Pakistan that the people of the state would resist through all democratic means the heightening of tension between the two countries. District president Peer Mohammad Hussain, Senior leader Party’s nominated candidate for Doru Syed Farooq Andrabi, Mrs Shameema Andrabi and others were also present on this occasion.
Mehbooba said while temperatures are raised as a result of war room tactical games the only sufferers are the people of J&K. She said it is the life and property and sense of security of the people of J&K which are in the line of fire and her party would channelize and strongly register the opposition of the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh to war mongering and use of weapons across the LoC and IB. She said every bullet or a mortar shell fired hits only the residents of this state whether they are on this side or the other.
Stressing the need for building a strong peace initiative from within the state she said more than a decade back the then Prime Minister, Vajpayee in an impressive display of statesmanship had opened a new chapter in the blood soaked history of India and Pakistan by responding to the urge for peace and dignified resolution during his historic visit to Srinagar. “The people of the state especially those living in border areas had experienced an entirely new found peace and environment of security after the 2003 ceasefire with Pakistan,” she said.
Mehbooba said till then the only demand of the people living in these areas was about providing shelter and bunkers but post the ceasefire these people who suffered for decades had picked up threads of life once again and tried to give themselves some stability in an environment of normalcy. The cross-LoC Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) had strengthened this feeling of normalcy and generated hope for future and the PDP remains committed to work for strengthening the peace initiatives and build on them to ensure durable peace which is not held hostage either by strategic hawks or trigger happy forces of any kind, she added. She expressed her grief at the loss of life in recent escalation along the borders.
Conveying her sympathy and solidarity to the families of victims of firing on borders, Mehbooba said there is no reason why the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi should not employ similar peace offensive as the one initiated by Vajpayee with Pakistan so that the hawks on both side are silenced and the people of J&K get a reprieve from constant war and threat of it. She
Referring to the local problems Mehbooba said the people have brought to her notice the widespread complaints about non-availability of ration and water for irrigation and drinking purposes. She said there is an acute scarcity of food grains which needs to be immediately addressed. Similarly, she said the horticulture in the area needs a rescue act by providing irrigation as in other parts of the Valley.
Mehbooba said the apparent impact of the National Highway tunnel which is under construction seems to be the possible closure of the toll post at Lower Munda. She said its closure would affect a large number of the people who are making some earnings out of small businesses. She said the government should ensure retaining the toll post at its present location.
Mehbooba expressed concern at the reports of major geological changes taking place in the area as a result of the construction of railway tunnel. She was told that about a dozen springs had dried up after the construction of the tunnel. She said while development projects can’t be avoided the environment considerations must be kept in view so that Kashmir valley does not lose any of its valuable assets.