SRINAGAR: As seat of governance in Jammu and Kashmir shifted to Srinagar, summer capital of the State, for six months on Monday, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti admitted that situation in Kashmir was serious but added that it was not the first time that people have seen tough times.
She said Kashmiri youth are angry and disillusioned with the system but every youth is not a stone pelter.
“Kashmir once again stands at the crossroads. The situation in Valley is serious,” Mehbooba told reporters on re-opening of Civil Secretariat, here.
The capital and Civil Secretariat shifted to Srinagar from Jammu today. The seat of governance will function from Srinagar for next six months and will shift to Jammu during winters.
The half-yearly Durbar Move was started by Dogra Maharaja in 1872 to escape the extreme weather conditions of Jammu in summer and Kashmir in winter. Crores of rupees are being spent on transportation of official records and employees between the two capital cities twice every year.
Mehbooba said political problem in the state has existed since 1947 and situation in valley has seen lot of ups and downs in last 70 years.
“There was a movement demanding plebiscite for 22 years but then even Kashmir’s tallest leader Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah signed an accord with the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi,” she said.
She said then there was militancy in 1990s.
“I remember 1996 when it was difficult to even conduct a public meeting. But people have come out of that and would also pass through the present times with resilience,” Mehbooba said.
Describing the present situation in Valley as serious, she said, “It was not the first time that people of the State have seen tough times but in the past also they have braved challenges and come out resolutely”.
Referring to stone pelting, Mehbooba said, “Some youth are disillusioned and angry with the system”.
She, however, said every youth in the valley is not pelting stones and staging protests and chanting slogans.
"Some youth are being provoked and instigated to lead and participate in protests. However, the government will reach out and talk to them as I think it is not something that cannot be resolved,” she said.
“Jammu and Kashmir is a jewel in the crown of India and our youth have the whole canvas of the country available to display their talent in whatever field they take the plunge”, she said.
Mehbooba appealed national media to play a constructive role in minimizing the divide between sections of the society and act as a guide and a beacon to show the right path to the government and people whenever they deflect from their objective.
She appealed the national electronic media to refrain from debating Kashmir as it sets the agenda of hatred against the people of the valley
“The media should not to harp on negativities and instead focus on the similarities and help in reducing tensions and acrimony among people,” she said.
Mehbooba said harping on negativity can hit the tourism sector in the Valley and will impact tourists planning to visit Kashmir.
Authorities had deployed a contingent of security personnel around the Secretariat and other sensitive areas in Srinagar to prevent youth and students from staging anti-government protests.
The Valley has been witnessing near daily student protests since April 15 when security men raided a college in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district during which over 50 students were injured.