Calling for putting in place an institutionalized mechanism to address the Kashmir issue, Chief Minister, Ms Mehbooba Mufti today stressed the need for initiating a credible and meaningful political action on the ground to make peace and stability a reality in the State.
Talking to media-persons after her 45-minute meeting with the Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister called for reviving the reconciliation and resolution process which was initiated by the then NDA Government headed by Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee between 2002 and 2005. She said the intra and inter-state CBMs initiated during that time had helped transform the situation in the State and the region. “We shall have to pick up the threads from where we left in 2005 and revive the reconciliation and resolution process with fresh resolve,” she said and added that the present Prime Minister has the mandate to take bold political initiatives on Kashmir as was done by Vajpayee Ji.
Ms Mehbooba said she outlined a three-pronged action plan before the Prime Minister for the resolution of the Kashmir issue, including involvement of separatists and Pakistan in substantive dialogue, to work out a solution to the problem in light of the contemporary geo-political realities.
Expressing anguish over the continued violence and killings, the Chief Minister sought involvement of all the stakeholders for resolution of the issues and improving situation in Kashmir. She said the focus of the State government, Government of India and all other parties in the country is to reach out to the majority of the peace-loving stakeholders in Kashmir who want peaceful solution of the problem. “Every political party wants the bloodshed in Kashmir to end and a political process to begin, sooner the better,” she said and added that all the parties, cutting across the divide, including the Hurriyat leaders shall have to come forward and help in saving innocent lives as also engage in a meaningful dialogue process for the peaceful resolution of the issue. She said an ‘All Party Delegation’ will be visiting the State soon to reach-out to the people “and I hope they will meet different shades of political opinion to elicit their views on how to find a way out of the present imbroglio.”
Maintaining that the aspirations and the interests of people of Jammu and Kashmir are supreme for her Government, Ms Mehbooba said the people of Kashmir have been living a life of pain, suffering and uncertainty and they yearn for peaceful resolution of the problems confronting the State. Underlining the fact that she has just been in power for the last two months, Ms Mehbooba asked the people to help her resolve the crisis. “I appeal to all those protesting in the streets. You may be angry with me, I may be angry with you, But please give me one chance to address your concerns and aspirations,” she said.
Calling for greater focus on the resolution of the problem by adding substance to the peace process through substantial confidence building measures, Ms Mehbooba said; “We should not mislead ourselves about brushing the issue under the carpet as was done on earlier occasions like in 2008 and 2010. The country’s political leadership must commit itself to address all the dimensions of the problem in a manner that balances and promotes enduring political and economic stability in the State and the region,” she said and added that the Government of India must involve all shades of political opinion in meaningful deliberations for realistic and just resolution of the problem.
Urging Pakistan to reciprocate with open mind and in good faith to the peace initiatives for the permanent settlement of the issues, Ms Mehbooba said unfortunately Islamabad lost out on an opportunity for reconciliation when Prime Minister, Narendra Modi landed in Lahore December last and when Home Minister, Rajnath Singh visited Islamabad recently for the SAARC ministerial meeting. “Pakistan also has to take a step forward in the interest of peace and stability in the region,” she said.
Stating that not enough has been done to implement the ‘Agenda of Alliance’ between her party PDP and the BJP, the Chief Minister said that the Prime Minister reiterated his commitment that the political, economic and developmental initiatives enumerated in the ‘Agenda of Alliance’ will be implemented with sincerity of purpose.
In her meeting with the Prime Minister, the Chief Minister discussed in detail the prevailing political and security scenario in the State and the region and also the working of the PDP-BJP Coalition Government in the State.