‘Measures of coercion can buy you some time but will not bring peace’: Mehbooba Mufti

Jammu, Dec 23: Asserting that theatrics of peace being played by the central government in Jammu and Kashmir was proving counterproductive, former Chief Minister and President Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Mehbooba Mufti Thursday said that the administration after hurting dignity and special identity of the erstwhile state was now eyeing on land and properties of people.

“The arm twisting measures with heavy military presence on the ground, denying fundamental rights to people and enforcing a political ideology is what is being done in the name of ensuring peace in Jammu and Kashmir”, she said adding, “You cannot shut the mouth of a patient in pain and declare him stable. Measures of coercion can buy you some time but will not bring peace”.

Peace, she said, cannot be enforced but established by understanding the core problem and addressing the grievances of the people. “Reconciliation and dialogue is the only way to establish lasting peace”, she said.

Mufti was addressing villagers in RS Pura who are affected due to the government plans to develop Gharana Wetland. She was accompanied by Vice President Choudhary Hamid Choudhary, General Secretary Amreek Singh Reen, Additional General Secretary Ab Rasheed Malik, PAC Member and Spokesperson Advocate Anil Sethi and others.

The former Chief Minister said that like villagers around Gharana wetland, farmers across Jammu and Kashmir were being forced out of their properties. “Agriculture and horticulture has always been the backbone of state’s economy and it was this sector which enabled the residents of Jammu and Kashmir to survive despite turbulence and unrest”, she said adding that now the government seems to be eyeing these sectors to further weaken the already struggling economy.

She said that Gharana has always been home to the migratory bird and the development project may bring tourist to the area. “However, the administration cannot turn a blind eye to the problems of the local residents, who are losing a huge chunk of land”.

Endorsing the demand of the protesting villagers, Mufti demanded allotment of alternate land besides jobs for the affected families.

The PDP chief later visited the house of deceased District President (rural) of the party Sartaj Singh Lada, who breathed his last recently. She recalled her association with the deceased and expressed sympathies with the bereaved family.

Meanwhile, former Minister of State (MoS) and Vice Chairman Schedule Cast Development Board Bushan Lal Dogra rejoined PDP in presence of the party president, here today. kns

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