Jammu: Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday said the people of Jammu and Kashmir were the principal stakeholders of any process to bring peace and solve the problems in the strife-torn state.
“The focus has to be on involving the people of Jammu and Kashmir who are the principal stakeholders in the resolution process to make it sustainable and productive,” Mehbooba said, addressing a function during the inauguration of a new building of the degree college in Nowshehra town of Rajouri district.
She laid stress on revival and continuation of peace and confidence-building process with Pakistan which, according to her, had helped transform the situation in the state and along the border between 2002 and 2005 — when her father ruled Jammu and Kashmir in partnership with the Congress.
“(The) government of India must, with fresh resolve, work through reconciliatory political measures and through public participation towards the resolution of the issue,” she said and added that Jammu and Kashmir could become a bridge of peace and a hub of economic activity in the region given its geostrategic location.
She also demanded expansion of the ambit and scope of movement of people and goods across the Line of Control (LoC).
“Full potential of the state can be harnessed only through opening it up and empowering all the regions to benefit from the new market economy growing in the region.
“For a lasting solution of the state’s problems, substantial political and economic measures have to be taken to meet the reasonable aspirations of the people in all the regions of the state.”
Mehbooba said even if Pakistan may be presently reluctant due to its own political reasons to reciprocate the peace overtures from New Delhi, whatever can be done to address the internal dimensions of the Kashmir issue must be done without delay.
“We have to have a roadmap of hope for the people of Jammu and Kashmir who are embroiled in a challenging and pernicious situation.”