SRINAGAR: Stressing the need for opening more historic routes along LoC in the State to facilitate people’s movement, Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti on Friday said connecting people and regions with more routes and other positive activities is her mission.
Interacting with a visiting delegation from Muzaffarabad and adjoining areas which called on her here, the Chief Minister said dialogue, reconciliation and economic development in the whole region would bring an end to violence, acrimony and most of all miseries of people in the State. She added that she has been demanding opening of all historic routes across LoC which can get the State on the threshold of prosperity and economic affluence besides sending across the message of peace, coexistence and amity between India and Pakistan.
Mehbooba said it was unfortunate that violence and acrimony have taken over the discourse between the two countries due to which activity on these positive ideas has slowed down. She, however, exuded optimism that this negativity would ultimately fade and these positive initiatives would take centrestage. She said the present phase of these CBMs needs to be taken to next higher level where the points of convergence between the two people become much more pronounced and the lines dividing them become irrelevant forever.
The Chief Minister stressed on frequent cultural exchanges between youth, institutions, groups and communities on the two sides of LoC adding that cultural exchanges have proved instrumental in bringing people and societies closer.
Mehbooba said she would like the new generation to take a lead in this. “If we open up educational institutes for each other’s students where they can benefit from the facilities and advancements made so far, it would help a great deal,” she said. Besides, she flagged areas like tourism, disaster management, agriculture, climate change etc where expertise and difficulties can be exchanged to achieve better results.
Mehbooba informed the visiting delegation that Shardha Peeth, on the other side of LoC, is not only a sacred place for Kashmiri Pandits but represents our collective ethos and pluralistic society of the State. She favoured visits to the place by members of Kashmiri Pandit community, thereby opening a new chapter of pilgrimage tourism among the two people across the LoC.__GK News