Srinagar, Appealing for peace between India and Pakistan, Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti today sought end to hostilities between the two countries on the borders saying it is the people of the State who suffer the brunt of these skirmishes.
Addressing a well attended public meeting here after laying the foundation of some developmental projects in the area, the Chief Minister appealed the leadership of both the countries to work for maintaining peace on the borders. She said the people of Jammu & Kashmir have been the worst victims of this hostility which has led to the killing of people, dislocations and damages to the property on both the sides. She said the skirmishes along the border areas in the State have led people to frequent migrations and leading to a life of pitiable conditions.
Mehbooba Mufti said peace in the State and between the two South Asian neighbours holds key to the progress and development in the region. She said it is very unfortunate that when people should have been demanding facilities of schools, hospitals, playfields and hospitals, they are forced to seek construction of bunkers to save them from firepower. She said it is a point to ponder that what have the people achieved from the hostility of 70 years.
Flagging friendship as the only way forward, the Chief Minister said with peace and cooperation new vistas of progress and development for the people could be opened. She said given its picturesque beauty, Teetwal and Tanghdar areas could be developed as major tourist spots. This would give the local economy a major fillip like it has given to Ladakh tourism, she added.
Responding to the local demands, the Chief Minister said she has already taken up with the Centre the construction of tunnel on the Sadhna pass so that connectivity between Kupwara and Tanghdar is kept open round the year. She said the State Government has already recommended to the Centre grant of ST status to members of Pahari community and she would again take up the matter with the Prime Minister.
Mehbooba Mufti also announced upgradation of the local hospital into a model hospital with all modern diagnostic facilities. She also announced to start a helicopter service to Tanghdar on the pattern of Gurez and Kishtwar air services. “A special sub division of PDD would also be set up here”, she also announced. She added that work on Sadhna-Chambkoot road being built by BRO would be paced up and possibilities of upgradation of Gatra and Nachia schools would also be explored.
Mehbooba Mufti assured the people that she has a special affection for the area given the difficulties, both Natural and manmade, they have been living in.
On the occasion, several political workers of different parties announced their joining into the PDP.
Minister for Rural Development & Law, Abdul Haq Khan and Minister for Public Works, Naeem Akhtar; Member, Rajya Sabha, Fayaz Ahmad Mir; legislators, Raja Manzoor and Farooq Mirchal also addressed the gathering.
Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan; Chief Engineer, R&B, Abdul Hamid Sheikh, several heads of Departments; Deputy Commissioner, Khalid Jehangir and other officers were present on the occasion.