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Path to become ‘vishwa guru’ passes through Kashmir: Mehbooba

Calling for declaration of the two regions of J&K – the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir – as a world peace zone, she suggested that J&K and PoK be declared SAARC cooperation zone.

SNS | Jammu |

Taking a dig at the BJP’s oft-repeated claim to make India global leader, former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, on Thursday, said that India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi should forget of becoming a ‘vishwa guru’ when it has failed to become ‘guru’ of the SAARC grouping while our neighbouring countries were in turmoil.

Addressing a PDP rally in Srinagar on the 23rd raising day of the party, Mehbooba Mufti while acknowledging that India has the true potential to become a world leader with its integral democracy and secularism, advised PM Modi to put his own house in order first.

In her fiery speech, she contended that the path for becoming ‘vishwa guru’ passes through Jammu and Kashmir, and not through G7, G20 or other organisations.

In this context, the PDP leader asked Modi to mend fences with the neighbouring countries, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan and other members of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). “India should have pressed for a meeting of the SAARC to discuss the current turmoil in Sri Lanka,” she said.

Calling for declaration of the two regions of J&K – the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir – as a world peace zone, she suggested that J&K and PoK be declared SAARC cooperation zone. She said Kashmir has become a battlefield and as long as there is no dialogue between India and Pakistan there will be no stability in Jammu and Kashmir.

Pointing out that borders of Pakistan do not lie with Kashmir only, but also with Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat, she wondered why only Jammu and Kashmir is bearing the brunt of violence.

“Have we ever heard that there was firing on the Punjab border or that there was war between India and Pakistan on the Gujarat border, or Rajasthan border? No, it only happens on the borders in J&K. There is a proxy war inside J&K as well. Ten lakh army personnel on one side, and youth with guns on the other. You will have to resolve this issue and there is no other option,” said the PDP chief.

The trade between India and Pakistan goes on unhindered at the Wagah border in Punjab, but was suspended in Jammu and Kashmir, she pointed at the contrast.

“Our party has always sought solutions through dialogue. We wanted peace and tranquillity here which Mufti Muhammad Syed was constantly trying to do during his lifetime,” she said.

Mehbooba hit out at the BJP for “politicising the national flag”. Referring to the ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign, she alleged that you cannot generate nationalism by forcing people to hoist the tricolor on their houses.  “If you have to hoist the Tiranga, do it on 1000 sq kms of land that China grabbed from us in Ladakh. But you have politicised this flag as well,” Mufti said.

She appreciated the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) built by China in PoK and Pakistan. She called on the Indian government to connect J&K with the world similar to the manner in which Pakistan and China are connecting the other side of Kashmir. She asked the Prime Minister to make J&K a gateway to Central and South Asia. “Pakistan and China have said all countries can become a part of the CPEC — a route which goes via PoK to Central Asia and South Asia”

Mehbooba urged Prime Minister Modi to grant general amnesty to all Kashmiri youths languishing in different jails across the country.