Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Friday stressed upon the need to open more historic routes across the Line of Control (LoC) to facilitate people’s movement.
Interacting here with a visiting delegation from Muzaffarabad and adjoining areas, she said dialogue, reconciliation and economic development in the region would bring an end to violence.
Mufti said she has been demanding opening of all historic routes across the LoC that can get the state on the threshold of prosperity and economic affluence besides sending across the message of peace, coexistence and amity between India and Pakistan.
She said connecting people and regions with more routes and other positive activities is her mission.
Mehbooba Mufti said it was unfortunate that violence and acrimony have taken over the discourse between the two countries due to which activity on these positive ideas has slowed down.
She, however, expressed optimism that this negativity would ultimately fade and these positive initiatives would take the centre-stage.
Mufti said the present phase of Confidence-Building Measures need to be taken to next level where the points of convergence between the two people become much more pronounced and the lines dividing them become irrelevant forever.
The Chief Minister stressed on frequent cultural exchanges between youths, institutions, groups and communities on the two sides of the LoC and added that cultural exchanges have proved instrumental in bringing people and societies closer.
Mufti said she would like the new generation to take a lead in this.
“If we open up educational institutes for each other’s students where they can benefit from the facilities and advancements made so far, it would help a great deal,” she said.
Besides, she flagged areas like tourism, disaster management, agriculture, climate change etc. where expertise and difficulties can be exchanged to achieve better results.
Mehbooba Mufti informed the visiting delegation that Shardha Peeth, on a bank of the Neelam river the other side of LoC, was not only a sacred place for Kashmiri Pandits, but represents the collective ethos and pluralistic society of the state.
She favoured visits to the place by members of Kashmiri Pandit community, thereby opening a new chapter of pilgrimage tourism among the two people across the LoC.