Concerned over border trouble, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to revive peace initiatives and “mark a new beginning” with Pakistan as well as inside Jammu and Kashmir while seeking a financial package for the state’s economic rejuvenation.
Mehbooba, whose party is running a coalition government along with BJP, said Modi should devise a “grand strategy” for the state where the problems of economic deprivation, development-deficit 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 without naming Pakistan but clearly referring to it.
“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 told a party convention in Pulwama.
Mehbooba said such initiatives were taken earlier 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.”
Contending that last year’s floods had crippled the state economy which needs to be addressed in right earnest, she said that given the enormity of the crisis, it is beyond the means and resources of the state government to confront this challenge.
“We hope the central government would pay immediate? attention to these enormous challenges and help the state? government revive the process of economic rejuvenation in Jammu and Kashmir through an adequate financial package,” she? said.