Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti appealed to the people of the state to give peace a chance, so that the dialogue process can take off.
"Give me peace. I will purse dialogue and work for opening cross-border routes like Kargil-Skardu, Jammu-Sialkote, Nowshehra-Jhangar, etc," Mehbooba said. Her speech was inspired by Netaji Subhash Chander Bose's famous slogan: "Give me blood, and I will give you freedom."
Mehbooba was addressing a public rally at Kund village in South Kashmir's Kulgam district. " The people of the state continue to bear the brunt of partition and acrimony…If there is peace, people on both sides would march together on the path of growth and development," she said.
The Chief Minister also said the government's agenda has been to take people out of the mess, and begin a dialogue to sort out issues and develop Jammu and Kashmir as a developed state.
"Some movement on this agenda has been made and many decisions of huge public welfare like withdrawal of cases against around 10,000 youth, regularisation of 61,000 daily wagers, a massive economic and reconstruction plan, etc, were initiated by my government in the past three years," she said.
She added that the situation at the borders is not encouraging; with deaths and destruction being reported so frequently, the villagers are bow demanding the construction of bunkers.
"This is unfortunate. In the 21st Century, when they should be demanding better schools, good hospitals and efficient services, they are asking for bunkers to protect themselves," she said.
Mehbooba said she is pained to see that a common citizen of J&K is the ultimate victim of this whole scenario of uncertainty, violence and acrimony. "It is the people of the state who get killed and their education and businesses suffer," she said.
Urging youth to desist the path of violence, she said the world is witness to the fact that violence has not resolved any issue. "Rather, it gives birth to many more. Resorting to violence leads to a response which ultimately leaves behind only scars," she said.
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