Srinagar: Dismayed over troubles on the border, ruling PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti today asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to revive peace initiatives and “mark a new beginning” urgently, both inside Jammu and Kashmir and with Pakistan, on political as well as economic front. Mehbooba, whose party is running a coalition government along with BJP, wants Modi to devise a “grand strategy” for the state, saying the problems of economic deprivation, development-deficiency and unemployment have become complex, especially in the aftermath of the devastating floods of last year.
“Time has come to revive the peace initiatives, both on internal and external fronts, and mark a new beginning in and around Jammu and Kashmir on political and economic fronts,” she said addressing a party convention in Pulwama. “With a decisive mandate on his back, the Prime Minister has the opportunity and luxury of conceiving a new grand strategy for Jammu and Kashmir by not only reviving the peace initiative that had worked well between 2002 and 2005, but pioneering fresh political and economic initiatives with speed, purpose and direction,” she added.
Mehbooba said such initiatives were taken when Mufti Sayeed headed a coalition government along with Congress between 2002 and 2005. “Responding to the people’s innermost yearning for peace, the PDP-led government had in 2002 crusaded the ‘Healing Touch Policy’ to repair the people’s hurt psyche, salvage their bruised dignity, rekindle a new hope in their hearts and motivate them to mould their destiny through a participatory political process,” she said, adding “The results are there for all to behold”.
Referring to the then Atal Bihari Vajpayee government at the Centre, Mehbooba said “fortunately the country’s leadership, at that time, also understood and appreciated the rejuvenating and hopeful political and economic transformation in the state and responded to it in good measure.”