SRINAGAR: Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday told the lawmakers in Legislative Assembly that Jammu and Kashmir has decided its fate in 1947 and announced amnesty for all first time stone pelting offenders since 2008.
“Jammu and Kashmir has decided its fate in 1947. I hope that Pakistan understands that and it us upto the neighbouring country to realise that J&K could be their bridge with India,” Mehbooba said in her speech in Legislative Assembly in Jammu while winding up discussion on Governor’s address.
She said she wants J&K to become a bridge of faith and trust between India and Pakistan.
“J&K has a strategic location which should be exploited for positive and gainful results. Why can’t we be gateway to Central Asia. We should be part of the Silk Route. Let us explore the opportunities of Tashkant, Kashgar, Iran etc, which have been the historic routes through which Islam came to Kashmir,” she said.
“It was this tolerant Islam which groomed us to think on rational and humanitarian lines while deciding our fate in 1947. Let us go back to our routes”, Mehbooba said.
Welcoming the reports of recent meeting of National Security Advisors of India and Pakistan, she said she wishes for normalisation of relations between the two countries.
The entire opposition barring deputy speaker Nazir Gurezi, who is an NC MLA and independent MLA from Langate Er Abdur Rasheed, boycotted Mehbooba’s speech.
Terming dialogue as the only way forward, Mehbooba said appointment of Dineshwar Sharma as interlocutor last year was a major decision to undertake sustained dialogue in the State.
She hoped that people from different shades of opinion would join the consultation process so that it moves ahead with positivity.
Asserting that mandate given to the interlocutor is clear and categorical, Mehbooba said, “He has been appointed to carry forward the dialogue process in the State in a sustained manner. The need of the hour is to get the State out of the vicious cycle of violence”.
She said her government would grant amnesty to first time stone pelting offenders against whom cases were registered from 2008-2017. “I am happy that we have decided to grant amnesty to them also, roughly making it to around nine thousand youth”.
Mehbooba said she has asked the police to ensure that the local boys who have joined militant ranks should be helped to come back to their families and friends.
On pellet victims, the CM said, “It should have not happened. The pellet victims whose vision got impaired were given financial assistance and even the jobs.”
“We tried to rehabilitate them. We are still on it. Pellet victim Insha (16-year-old girl) was given Gas agency to stand up on her feet,” she said adding all those persons would be given special training in collaboration with a local institution so that they don’t have to depend on anybody for rest of their life.
Insha was blinded by the pellets in July 2016 and passed 10th class examination yesterday.