Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Friday pressed for urgent de-escalation of the situation on the border and said India and Pakistan should take immediate and effective measures to revive the process of comprehensive and composite dialogue.
She said it is time for Pakistani political leadership to reciprocate and consider giving peace a chance in the region.
Mehbooba, who conducted an extensive tour of areas like Nowshera, Poonch and Rajouri along the LoC affected by Pakistani shelling, expressed grave concern over the plight of the people living near the frontiers where a “distressing situation” has been created with loss of lives and destruction of properties.
She interacted with the affected families and took on-the-spot appraisal of the measures put in place by the administration to provide necessary support and help to them.
“There is urgency of de-escalating the situation. There is no alternative to peace and reconciliation and New Delhi and Islamabad should take immediate and effective measures to revive the process of comprehensive and composite dialogue,” she said.
Instead of squandering their resources on “meaningless conflict”, India and Pakistan can be of great help to each other in their fight against the common challenges of poverty and economic deprivation in the region.
Recalling the tenure of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Mehbooba said due to various internal and external initiatives taken during the period, peace prevailed along the borders and the people living there were happy as the guns remained silent.
“Today again, the leadership of our country, with a strong support and backing, will find a way out as wars do not help address any issue,” the Chief Minister said.
Citing examples of war-like situations in various countries like Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, she said wars have resulted in complete destruction of once most prosperous countries and annihilation of their cultures and civilizations.
She said, “our political leadership did take the initiative to revive the process of reconciliation with Pakistan when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Lahore (on December 25 last year) but then Pathankote (Airbase attack) happened and everything came to a standstill.”