‘Kashmiris Are No More Afraid of Indian Army’

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Srinagar—Sole military means can not bring normalcy to Kashmir as todays youth in Kashmir has lost fear of Indian army, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has said in an interview.

She also said that “India has not been up to the mark when it comes to the development of Jammu and Kashmir and it is this apathy which has led a section of people towards separatism.

In an exclusive interview given to leading Bengali daily Anandabazaar Patrika, Mehbooba Mufti said “Today’s generations in Kashmir are not afraid of the army because of various reasons and the current problem in the state cannot be solved through military means”.

According to her, the dissenters of today need to be dealt with through softer means like culture, sports, education, jobs over a long term. She said the current generation grew up in an entirely new environment and are much more skilled in using gadgets and technology than their predecessors. “The society, parents, teachers have to come forward to calm them down. Just military moves cannot deal with them,” she said when asked about the daredevilry of today’s young protesters.

Mehbooba Mufti also felt that instead of only blaming Pakistan for Kashmir’s ills today, other issues also need to be addressed. She said Pakistan and China have worked for the development of the parts of Kashmir they have kept occupied but India has not been upto the mark to focus on Kashmir’s well-being. “This apathy has made Kashmiris angry,” she said.

Mehbooba further said that the dialogue on Kashmir needs to go to the next level and no indication has been seen on that yet. “Why couldn’t we make Kashmir a model for cooperation in the Saarc,” she asked. She also asked if China could set up an economic corridor in their occupied portion of Kashmir, why couldn’t the Saarc play a positive role in developing the infrastructure in Jammu & Kashmir?

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