Expressing dismay over the continued instability along the borders in Jammu and Kashmir, Peoples Democratic Party President and Member Parliament, Mehbooba Mufti Tuesday urged the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi to rise to the occasion and strive for finding ways and avenues for the resolution of the momentous problems confronting the State and the region. “With a decisive mandate on his back, Prime Minister has the opportunity and luxury of conceiving a new grand strategy for Jammu and Kashmir by not only reviving the peace initiative that had worked well between 2002 and 2005, but pioneering fresh political and economic initiatives with speed, purpose and direction,” Mehbooba said while addressing a day-long convention of PDP workers here. “Responding to the people’s innermost yearning for peace, the PDP-led Government had in 2002 crusaded the Healing Touch Policy to repair the people’s hurt psyche, salvage their bruised dignity, rekindle a new hope in their hearts and motivate them to mould their destiny through a participatory political process,” she said and added that the results were there for all to behold and fortunately the country’s leadership, at that time, also understood and appreciated the rejuvenating and hopeful political and economic transformation in the State and responded to it in good measure. Mehbooba said unfortunately the reversal of PDP’s pro-people policies by the successive regimes and rampant governance failure after 2005 led to disillusionment and alienation of the people. She said the time has come to revive the peace initiatives, both on internal and external fronts and mark a new beginning in and around Jammu and Kashmir on political and economic fronts. Mehbooba said the problems of economic deprivation, development-deficit and unemployment which have become complex, especially in the aftermath of the devastating floods of 2014 which crippled the State economy, have to be addressed in right earnest. She said given the enormity of the crisis it is beyond the means and resources of the State Government to confront this challenge. “We hope the Central Government would pay immediate attention to these enormous challenges and help the State Government revive the process of economic rejuvenation in Jammu and Kashmir through an adequate financial package,” she said. Urging the youth to shun the path of violence, Mehbooba said huge opportunities are awaiting them in various sectors where they can fruitfully use their capabilities to gain productive employment. “The youth who have taken to the path of violence must take a cue from their counterparts who are qualifying prestigious examinations like IAS, KAS etc with flying colours and making their families proud,” she said and added that the turmoil has only brought miseries to the people leaving behind a trail of death and destruction. “The pain of Kashmiris has reached a level where the hope of peace and prosperity is sure to gain substantial local support,” she said and added that already various initiatives have been put in place by the State Government to ensure productive employment for the local youth. Thanking the people of district Pulwama for their unflinching support to the PDP, Mehbooba said the party would ensure that the area gets its due share in development in all spheres. Addressing the convention senior PDP leader and Finance Minister, Dr Haseeb Drabu said a holistic and futuristic plan of action has been devised for the overall development of district Pulwama to do away with the past injustices with the district. Drabu said despite being declared a district headquarters in early seventies, Pulwama continues to face colossal infrastructure deficit in almost all the crucial sectors including road communication, education, health, drinking water supply, horticulture and tourism resulting in sluggish economic growth and swelling unemployment. He said despite having a flourishing horticulture sector, there has been almost negligent focus on this crucial sector. He said a new plan of action has already been put into action to address the development deficit in the district. “The people would soon see the transformation on ground as the new initiatives take shape,” he said. Minister for Horticulture, Hajj and Auqaf, Abdul Rehamn Veeri, Chairperson State Commission for Women, Nayeema Mehjoor, Legislators, Mohammad Khalil Bandh, Zahoor Ahmad Mir, Mushtaq Ahmad Shah, Vice-Chairman Gujjar and Bakerwal Advisory Board, Choudhary Zaffar Ali Khatana, PDP General Secretary, Rafi Ahmad Mir, Political Advisor to PDP President, Peerzada Mansoor Hussain, PDP Youth President, Waheed-ur-Rehman Parra, PDP District President Pulwama, Abdul Gani Vakil, PDP State Secretary, Showkat Gayoor and others also addressed the convention.
2015 Kashmir Despatch