‘Guns, stones have only brought destruction, snatched best minds like Umar Fayaz’
J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday said people have to decide themselves “whether they want ISIS or preserve their Kashmiri identity (Kashmiriyat).”
Reacting to a query about the “advent” of ISIS in Kashmir, Mehbooba said: “If people from various religions lived in harmony in Kashmir for centuries, it is only because of ‘Kashmiriyat’ that we need to protect at any cost.”
Pointing towards a temple, a Masjid and a Gurdwara located side-by-side near Sher Bagh area of Anantnag town, Mehbooba said: “This signifies our culture and clearly indicates how people of different religions lived in harmony in Kashmir.”
Urging people to safeguard their Kashmiri identity, rich Sufi heritage, secular ethos and mutual brotherhood, Mehbooba said: “People have to themselves decide what they want—the ISIS or preserve their Kashmiri identity, the Kashmiriyat.”
Stating that violence has yielded nothing, Mehbooba said: “Stone-pelting and guns have given us nothing but death and destruction and snatched best of our brains like Lieutenant Umar Fayaz.”
She said not violence but “Insaniyat, Jamhuriyat and Kashmiriyat can help solve the Kashmir issue.”
Mehbooba appealed to teachers to “engage students in a positive way.”
“The students should concentrate on studies and let elders take care of larger issues,” she said, apparently referring to the recent student protests that rocked the Valley.
“People need to choose between destruction and development,” she said.
The Chief Minister admitted that corruption was rampant in the system but blamed prevalent “law and order problem” for it.
“Yes there is corruption and our government would have taken it head on, but the prevailing law and order situation and chaos does not allow us to focus on the menace,” she said.
The Chief Minister was on her visit to Anantnag assembly constituency which she is representing to take stock of various development works. This was her maiden visit to the constituency after she took over as Chief Minister following the death of her father Mufti Muhammad Sayeed who represented it, prior to her. Mehbooba, however was seen campaigning for her brother Tassaduq Mufti for the parliamentary by-elections but the visit remained confined to Dak-Banglow in Khanabal.
“It was the dream of my father to see Anantnag constituency as the role model for the entire state and I am here to fulfill my father’s dream. After I was elected from this assembly segment in the by-elections, I could not visit here to thank people due to bad situation. So today I decided to do that,” Mehbooba said.