Mehbooba Asks Modi For ‘Balm On Kashmiris’ Wounds’

NEW DELHI: Amid strain in ties with Pakistan, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and urged him to de-escalate tension along the border besides reaching out to the people of the state with "tangible" confidence building measures to address their political, economic and developmental concerns.

During the meeting, the first after army carried out 'surgical strikes' on 29 September across the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistan-adminstered-Kashmir (PcK), the chief minister discussed with the prime minister the law and order situation and the situation along the border following the soaring tension in the region, a state government spokesman said.

"The people in Kashmir have gone through enormous agony and pain and the time has come to reach out to them and apply a balm to their wounds through ample initiatives at political, economic and developmental levels," she told the Prime Minister.

She impressed upon the Prime Minister the need to view the current situation as an opportunity and start a dialogue process with the people of Jammu and Kashmir. "I hope that the Prime Minister, who has received such a big mandate, takes this situation as an opportunity and reaches out to the people of the state by starting a productive dialogue process to end the miseries of the people in the state," the spokesman quoted her as having said.

While expressing grave concern over the prevailing situation along the border, the Chief Minister called for de-escalation of tension as people in the state have been the worst sufferers of the hostilities and confrontation in the region.

"Today also hundreds of families have to migrate from the border areas of the state and they suffer immense hardships because of the prevailing tense situation in the region," she said and stressed the need for reviving the peace and reconciliation process.

She also discussed the overall developmental scenario in the state and measures being taken to expedite the implementation of projects under the Rs 80,000 crore Prime Minister’s Developmental Programme.

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