Srinagar, Jul 28: Former chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president, Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday said that India cannot achieve the dream of becoming world leader until and unless the issue of Jammu and Kashmir is resolved.
Addressing a gathering on the occasion of the party’s 23rd foundation day, Mehbooba said that India is capable enough to become the world leader, but what deprives it from achieving the goal is the lingering J&K issue. “The way to become the world leader passes through J&K. G-20 and other things can never help the country in becoming the world leader. The Prime Minister’s dream of India becoming world leader won’t come true until the issue of J&K is resolved,” she said.
She further said that both sides of J&K should be made a model for South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and declare it as a peace zone. She also appealed to the central government to pave the way for the SAARC countries to invest in J&K and also allow the SAARC industries to come up here and also open all the routes for boosting the trade here. She also questioned how India would be able to become a world leader when it has failed to become even a SAARC leader.
“If trade through Wagah border can continue, why has it been stopped in J&K,” she asked and said the people of J&K are being targeted, the lands are being snatched, even the land where schools have been constructed are also being taken back while the job lists are being cancelled.
“The business has got affected after the Enforcement Directorate and National Investigation Agency (NIA) raids have started here on the traders. It is the time when the Prime Minister should consider settling down the issues,” she said.
“The stability in J&K is not possible unless the talks are held,” she said, adding that the Pakistan border is in several states, like Rajasthan, Punjab and other, but why the skirmishes and war take place only in J&K. “I will continue to talk about Pakistan till 10 lakh security forces are there in J&K and the UT is a war zone,” she said.
About the 3rd country interest by China and Pakistan in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Mehbooba said the duo will come up with the road like India abrogated Article 370 in the year 2019. “The other side of J&K is fortunate as its strategic position is being utilized to make it gateway for central and south Asia. What deprives India to take such steps? Why doesn’t the country take steps to open up the routes,” she asked.
She also said that the tricolour has been used for political gains. “At this time, people are being asked to pay Rs 20 for tricolour. If India wants to hoist tricolour, it should go and hoist it along Line of Actual Control (LAC) where China has grabbed our land,” she said.
Appealing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to resolve J&K issue once for all, she said that the PM will be remembered if he resolves the issue.
However, she said that J&K has been turned into a jail; thousands of youth from here have been lodged in different jails across the country. “The Prime Minister should announce general amnesty to the youth,” she said and appealed to the PM not to become a hammerer, but a jeweller for J&K.
She also said that during her tenure as chief minister, she tried her best and even brought a delegation from New Delhi to J&K to talk with the separatist leaders. “I brought the delegation here and also wrote to separatist leaders including Late Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik. But the separatist leaders sent a wrong message to the world as they didn’t open their doors to the delegation members. I even pushed for the ceasefire which continued for a month, but unfortunately there was no respond to it from the other side,” she said.