Former chief minister and PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday warned that attempts were being made to crush the economy of Kashmir by allowing flooding of the markets with apple imported from Iran.
Mehbooba, who was addressing a PDP convention in the apple growing belt of Pulwama in south Kashmir, alleged that apart from robbing us of our constitutional rights we have witnessed the loot of our resources and our economy being crushed. The horticulture sector which forms the backbone of our economy has not been spared either.
By allowing apple produce from Iran to flood the market and our own crop destroyed by supply of spurious pesticides, the nefarious designs are being implemented. “This also seems to be a part of the scripted scheme to pulverise our economy. The need is to stand up in unison and struggle for our rights, identity and the future of our coming generations,” she said.
Mehbooba advocated an unrelenting peaceful struggle for the restoration of democratic and constitutional rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
She said that people of Kashmir should not let despair decide their destiny but rather strengthen their resolve, unify their ranks and articulate their pain vociferously. Referring to the fact that more youngsters were taking to gun, she emphasised that gun is no solution to any problem and that we should always keep peaceful means as our lodestar and not lose sight of the fact that there are elements who wish to bracket us as violent and extremist so as to delegitimise our aspirations and our struggle.
Pointing to how farmers have mobilised and successfully rallied the whole world behind their cause, she said that the discipline underpinning the farmer’s movement is something worth emulating.
“Pulwama is the heartbeat of PDP and your unwavering support is the source of personal strength to me. And my first visit to your district after being re-elected as the party president is a reaffirmation of my love for you,” she said.
Reaffirming that dialogue and reconciliation as envisioned by PDP founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, is the only way to bring about peace and prosperity not only to the people of J&K but the whole of subcontinent, Mehbooba said that they she would continue to advocate dialogue between India and Pakistan no matter how disliked the idea is.
“We have always advocated dialogue and reconciliation. No matter what they said till yesterday, today we see them only emulating our roadmap as inevitable. The recent joint statement of DGMOs of Indo- Pak Armies is a case in point. We want them to take this forward to the highest levels and also engage with the people of Jammu & Kashmir constructively respecting their dignity,” she added.