Pak must also respond positively to J&K-specific CBMs: Mehbooba
Addressing an impressive public meeting here today, Ms Mufti said the Prime Minister's reiteration to carry forward the confidence building process by taking more initiatives to strengthen the bonds between the people on both sides of the LoC in Jammu & Kashmir, must get translated into reality to ensure peace and stability in the State and the region. "We hope that cross-LoC movement of people and trade would constitute the core of the upcoming Indo-Pak composite dialogue process," she said and added that the people of Jammu & Kashmir expect positive response from the Pakistani leadership to such initiatives.
Ms Mufti said if Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline, despite passing through the most volatile areas in the region, is now becoming a reality, why all kinds of security concerns are raised when it comes to J&K-specific confidence building measures. "I think the political leadership of India and Pakistan must lead from the front to cut through the security syndrome created by the vested interests when it comes to resolution o the Kashmir issue through confidence building measures," she said.
Blaming some politicians within the State for trying to play spoiler of the peace and reconciliation process, Ms Mufti said the role of the National Conference leadership is especially intriguing, as the party is trying to raise passions in Jammu region over the confidence building measures by dubbing these anti-national. "It was shocking to hear Dr Farooq Abdullah at Nagrota recently labeling the PDP's proposals of Joint Senate and mutual use of currencies as anti-national acts, and making a U-turn at Bijbehara yesterday Dr Abdullah termed these proposals as the agenda of the Government of India," she said and added that one fails to understand whom Dr Abdullah is trying to befool by such rhetoric full of histrionics.
Referring to unemployment as one of the biggest challenges facing the State today, Ms Mufti said, both short and long-term measures are needed to create ample employment opportunities for the State's educated unemployed youth. Stressing the need for widening the scope of technological and skilled education in the State to create employability for the local youth, she said the Government must promote modern educational facilities in the State with focus on information technology, biotechnology, food technology, management and other allied trades. "A move made by the PDP-led Government in this direction by facilitating setting up of the prestigious Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology (DAIICT) at Ompora Budgam must be followed up to by the Government to make this dream a reality," she said.