Peace, development in Kashmir depends on CBMs: Mehbooba

Jammu, March 5 (IANS) Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti Saturday said that effective development and good governance in the state is possible only in an environment of peace and stability which necessitates decisive confidence building measures to be taken by New Delhi.

“Peace and stability is possible only when we revive, with firm resolve and with tangible confidence building measures, the process of reconciliation and engagement in and around Jammu and Kashmir,” she said while addressing an a gathering of PDP workers at Vijaypur in Samba district here to launch of the party’s membership drive.

Mehbooba said the state has huge stakes in peace and stability in the region, as people in both Kashmir and Jammu regions have to suffer enormous human and economic losses because of the hostility.

“While people living along the borders in Jammu region suffer and live under the constant threat of cross-border shelling, the people in Kashmir valley are suffering because of the continued internal strife and recurrent violence,” she said.

She added peace along the borders in Jammu region and within the mainland in Kashmir is key to development and progress as had happened between 2002 and 2005.

“There was not only peace along the borders from Kathua to Kargil, during that golden era, but the situation in Kashmir valley had also started turning for good after witnessing a long gloomy era of death and destruction,” she said, claiming that due to the “reversal” of the peace and reconciliation process after 2008, uncertainty has again returned to haunt the state’s people.

“We shall have to ponder over the emerging situation in the state and go deep into the reasons for mounting alienation especially among the educated youth,” Mehbooba.

Concrete measures shall have to be taken to address the causes of alienation and cynicism and at the same time revive the process of intra-state and inter-state reconciliation, which was the dream of her father and late chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, she added.

“Mufti Sahab wanted to take the peace and resolution process started between 2002 and 2005 to its logical conclusion,” she said.

She said the Kashmir issue should not be seen through the security prism alone and the country needs to invest in its peace and acknowledge the pain and sufferings of its people.

“The ordinary people of India need to participate in hand holding with Kashmiris to give them a sense of belonging,” she and added that when there is talk of Jammu and Kashmir being an integral part of India, it needs to go beyond the ownership of land.

Addressing the genuine political, economic and security concerns of the state’s people is an issue which goes beyond power politics and requires a decisive political will at various levels, she noted.

“We shall have to take decisive confidence building measures to end the gloomy scenario of despair and alienation the state has been once again pushed into,” she said.

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