Strongly advocating opening of historic routes in Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has suggested re-opening up the state to the outside world and its opportunities.

Addressing the India Ideas Conclave-2017 at Panaji on Friday, Mehbooba said the geographical positioning of the state makes it gateway to the Central Asia and that position ought to be used for opening up its people to the outside world.

“By re opening the traditional and historic routes in the state, we shall be writing a new history,” she said.

Mehbooba suggested making J-K a model state with connectivity all across so that it becomes a model for SAARC cooperation in the region.

“Let’s make it a model for cooperation at bigger scale in the region,” she said.

On the problems being faced by the people of the state, the CM said it is the duty of every citizen of the country to come forward and help the sate in coming out of these uncertainties.

“People of the state ought to be given a sense of belonging because the idea of India is incomplete without idea of Jammu and Kashmir. Reconciliation is the way ahead,” she added.

On Kashmiriyat, she said “See how many young boys rushed to donate blood when Amarnath yatries were attacked or who can forget that boatman who drowned himself to save a tourist. Kashmiriyat is deep rooted to be affected by any outside influence”.

On the measures taken by her government, Mehbooba said the amnesty for youth recently announced by her is aimed at giving them a chance to a peaceful life hereafter. She hoped with the appointment of an Interlocutor the way forward for reconciliation has been laid out.

PDP-BJP alliance: 

On forming government in the State, Mehbooba said though both PDP and BJP have ideological differences on many issues, the idea of alliance was aimed to get Jammu and Kashmir out of the present situation of uncertainty, end the inter regional discord in the state and, above all, connect the people of the state with their counterparts in rest of the country.

“The idea to go with BJP was to get Jammu and Kashmir out of this siege”, she added.

There is a need, the Chief Minister asserted, to go back to the era of Atal Behari Vajpayee through whose initiatives cross LoC routes were opened, ceasefire on LoC was ensured for a decade or so and peace prevailed as a consequence in the state and between the two countries.

Kashmiri Pandit rehabilitation:

On the return of migrant Pandit families, she said not only the government but the entire society in Kashmir wants them back, honourably.

She said in this regard government has been taking many steps for their return back home. “We are also trying to rehabilitate those Pandit families, in terms of employment and other incentives, who stayed back home and did not migrate”, she said.

The conclave was attended by Vice President, M Venkiah Naidu; several Union Ministers; former Sri Lankan Prime Minister, Chandrika Kumaratunga; Minister from UAE, Zaki Anwar Misbah; Chief Minister of Goa, Manohar Parrikar besides a galaxy of politicians, industrialists, mediapersons and social activists from all across the globe.