Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti today appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to follow in the footsteps of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to normalise relations with the neighbouring country.
Mehbooba asked Modi that if they could buy onions from Pakistan on lower rates and trade the same via the Wagah border, why couldn’t they stop firing on borders in Jammu and Kashmir, where innocent civilians were being killed on both sides.
“We (people of J&K) deserve better treatment,” said Mehbooba after meeting families of the border firing victims at Sai, Joura farms and Abdullian border villages in the RS Pura sector.
Three people were killed and several others injured when the Pakistan Rangers resorted to shelling on civilian areas last week.
The PDP president was touring the border areas to get the feel of the situation arising from the recent ceasefire violation. She was not happy with the approach of both countries of being at loggerheads and leaving border people to face the brunt of the firing and shelling.
“Both countries are nuclear powers, but everybody knows that war is not an option,” she said. She asked: “What if bombs are dropped on cities across the two countries? We will die and there will be only destruction.
”She asked Modi, who she said had got the bigger mandate to rule the country, to adopt Vajpayee’s policy and initiate the dialogue process with Pakistan. “Wiser is the man who initiates dialogue. Modiji should talk to Pakistan and ask them what the problem is. They should solve the border firing issue on the table so that people living on borders on both sides get relief.
”Criticising the approach of spending money on buying arms and ammunition, Mehbooba said, “We don’t have hospitals, roads, schools and other things in order. The situation is worse in Pakistan. But still we are in unending race of buying ammunition and spending money on shelling and firing.
”She hoped that the Directors General of Military Operations on both sides would meet and discuss to put an end to border shelling.“I hope the premiers of both India and Pakistan are also able to talk and help to build an atmosphere of peace in the region,” the PDP president said.