Peace process revival will make Uri northern gateway of Kashmir
SRINAGAR: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president, Mehbooba Mufti has said for his failures, the Chief Minister is in the habit of blaming everybody except himself and his government.
Addressing a well attended public meeting in Kamalkote in Uri, she said the border area is destined to become the northern gateway of Jammu & Kashmir and the travel and trade across the Line of Control (LoC) will definitely be taken to next level, with the support of the people of the state.
The party Chief Spokesperson, Naeem Akhtar; District President and MLA, Syed Basharat Bukhari; local leaders, Dr Shabir Ahmad, Najeeb Naqvi, Aashaq Hussain Khan, Parvez Ahmad Mir and other were present and spoke on the occasion.
Mehbooba said corruption and mis-governance have reached beyond tolerance, under the present government and Omar Abdullah attributes his inability to control it to everybody except himself and his government.
She said while in Sopore, he insults people of the area by accusing them of following dream merchants, but he forgets that it is his party that ran the campaign for plebiscite under the Mahaz Raishumari, for 22 years and then sold it out for power in1975.
She said the National Conference politics of U-turns and sell-outs has created a trust deficit between the state and rest of the country which is hard to fill.
The PDP president said in the constituencies which are represented by the opposition , Omar Abdullah criticizes the MLAs for lack of development like providing water, power, roads, healthcare and education, as if they run the government. On the other hand, when he goes to areas represented by his own party, he (CM) uses the Kashmir problem as a shield against his inability to deliver.
Mehbooba said compared to this, the PDP had led a coalition that set new standards of development and political progress. She said it was no mere coincidence that a major political progress on Kashmir, in the shape of the cross-LoC Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) was taken, when PDP was leading the coalition for a brief three years.
Not only this, but exchange of delegations of traders, political leaders, journalist, diplomats and opinion leaders took place between the two sides of the state, for first time since independence.
Solid progress was visible on making Kashmir a bridge between India and Pakistan, instead of staying as a bone of contention. But that whole process was reversed with the arrival of present government, which again is no coincidence but a result of Omar Abdullahs failure, as a leader and representative of people of J&K, she said.
The PDP chief said the cease-fire in 2003 was not just a cessation of hostilities between the two neighbours which had brought immense miseries to the people, living in the border area, but it was a proactive start to a new process of building peace, amity and understanding, which had culminated in historic decisions of opening of Srinagar-Muzzaffarbad and Poonch-Rawlakoot roads for travel ad trade.
Important principles have already been conceded by the governments of India and Pakistan, in dispensing with the requirement of visas and passport for travel, custom duty and import export taxes for trade cross the LoC, which lays the foundation for a free economic zone in the state, Mehbooba said.
It is now time that the process is taken to its next level, by implementing the decisions to extend the travel facility to groups beyond the divided families. Increase the frequency of bus services, throw open the routes like Kargil-Skhardo and also provide communication and banking backup to the LoC traders, she said and added once that is done and the procedures are relaxed, places like Uri would become hubs of trade and tourism activity.
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