Srinagar, Aug 15: Reposing full faith in the Indian Supreme Court, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti Tuesday said that she hoped that Supreme Court will strike down the petition that is challenging our special status.
“I have full faith in the Supreme Court. I have conviction that like in the past, this time as well, the Supreme Court will strike down (the petition challenging 35A),” she said and urged upon India to resolve the Kashmir issue through dialogue.
She said that cutting across party lines, we all stand together to save the identity of the state whenever it is challenged. “Nobody can separate us when our identity and culture is at stake. We are united to save our special status,” she said.
In her address at Bakshi Stadium Srinagar on the eve of India’s 70th Independence Day, Mehbooba Mufti lamented that youth in Kashmir instead of having pens in their hands have guns on their shoulders. “Kashmiryat is not seen anywhere in Kashmir but it is now seen in Jammu and Ladakh where people from all faiths walk shoulder to shoulder,” she said.
“Kashmir issue is a human issue that needs to be resolved within the framework of humanity.
I hope that the Central Government will bring Vajpayee Ji’s promise into practice and take the people of Jammu and Kashmir out of this whirlpool through dialogue. Dialogue is also in our Agenda of Alliance,” she said.
She also appealed to Pakistan not play “negative” role in Kashmir.
Appealing Pakistan to stop its ‘negative’ role in Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti said that Pakistan should engage India into a dialogue and help in the resolution of Kashmir issue.
Terming dialogue as the only way ahead to sort out issues, the Chief Minister said if peaceful negotiations can resolve all other issues in the country why can’t these help in redressing issues in Jammu & Kashmir. She said she was pleased to see Minister for External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj saying that dialogue is the only way ahead in resolving border disputes with China. She hoped Pakistan would also understand the need for peaceful engagement with India and the central Government would also undertake a broad based outreach treating the issues within the ambit of humanity as initiated by former Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee. She said the Agenda of Alliance of present Government has also declared that dialogue with all stakeholders in the State is the way forward.
Mehbooba Mufti said good neighborly relations between India and Pakistan are very crucial for the people of the State who bear the brunt of any bitterness in relations between the two countries. She said due to the recent tension along the LoC, hundreds of people living close to the borders in the State had to migrate to safer places. Many of them, she said, lost their lives, schools in these areas got closed and a lot of them were rendered homeless. For how long it would continue, she asked.
Describing Jammu & Kashmir as the land of saints and sages, the Chief Minister said it was Hazrat Shah-e-Hamdan (R.A.) who brought along hundreds of artisans who trained the people here in skill development in various fields. Hazrat Sheikh Noor-ud-Wali (R.A.) taught and practiced brotherhood, amity and harmony to our people, she added. She said Nature has bestowed the State with huge natural resources in the form of water, forests and scenic beauty which once harnessed optimally would not only usher in a developmental revolution in the State but also suffice the needs of country in terms of power, irrigation and other sectors.
The Chief Minister had a word of advice for the parents as well. She appealed them to guide their wards to take up pens instead of stones and guns. “Let us ponder, how is it that the guns manufactured somewhere far off find their use in every Muslim society. Why should it happen? Why can’t our youngsters be put in productive, creative streams rather than in this confusion”, she said in her address.
Later, the Chief Minister took salute on the march past by contingents of various wings of J&K Police, Home Guards and other wings besides students from various schools.
Students from various educational institutions presented a variety of cultural items which were liked by the audience. Members of J&K Police also presented some breathtaking daredevil items which received applause from the dignitaries.
Former Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah; Chairman, Legislative Council; Haji Anayat Ali; Ministers; Advisor to Chief Minister, Prof Amitabh Mattoo; Judges of the High Court; MPs; Vice President, PDP, Muhammad Sartaj Madni; Legislators; Chief Secretary, B. B. Vyas; Director General of Police, Dr S P Vaid; Chief Information Commissioner, Khursheed Ahmad Ganai; Administrative Secretaries, senior officers of Police, Army and other Central services; heads of several Departments and a large number of people were present on the occasion. (CNS)