Under Opposition fire over the government's "tough posturing", Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said today that even though the situation cannot be set right by the use of police and security forces alone, things were improving in the state. She also asserted that it was India alone that could address the issues facing the state. "I am alive to the situation for the past couple of years...the situation is limping back to normal but is still grave. I am not saying the situation has returned to normal," the chief minister said. She added that the situation cannot be set right by the government alone and all stakeholders had to come together to set it right through the political process. "We cannot set it right through the use of police and security forces," Mufti said in her reply to the motion of thanks to the Governor's address in the state legislative Assembly here. She said it was only India that can address the issues facing the people of the state. "The people of Jammu and Kashmir, whether in mainstream or outside, should understand that whatever we will get, we will get it from this country alone and not from anywhere else... Honorable position, life with dignity, opening of (cross-LoC)routes, taking trade to another level, or ending bloodshed to start dialogue. This will not be done by any other country but our own," she said. Apparently referring to the repeated disruption of the House by opposition over killings of innocents and human rights violations, she said "the House has a genuine concern over the prevailing situation and primarily it should be because whether on borders or in the hinterland our people are getting killed, whether it is a fidayeen attack or an IED blast". We should be concerned and the entire house is concerned over the situation, she said adding that when there is an attemptto disturb peace, other issues take a backseat. Mufti said the J&K state legislature was the most empowered in the country but added "we have to safeguard its statusto become truly the crown of this country". GST was passed in the country but we passed it after discussion and implemented when we decided, she said. It demonstrates theempowerment of our legislature, Mufti said. (Former Chief Minister) MuftiMohammad Sayeed used to say that the state has got from thecountry its own constitution, separate flag and residencypowers. We have to safeguard it as this is big treasure, she said. "If we will say we do not accept theConstitution of the state and the country then what we will getand from where," she added. The people of the country need to think whatwas the reason for the present situation, she added. "We, including the people of the country, need to think what happened after Jammu and Kashmir, a Muslim majority staterejected religious partition and became part of the biggestand secular nation.
I have heard that Jawahar Lal Nehru having said that Jammu and Kashmir will be a showcase window for thewhole world to gaze at. We have to think where the mistake happened," she said. Mahatma Gandhi had seen a ray of hope in Kashmirbecause of the peaceful atmosphere and harmony, she said. Where that lighthas gone? she asked. Expressing displeasure over the absence ofopposition members who boycotted her address overthe law and order situation, she said this was a prolonged problem. "Jammu and Kashmir is faced with a situation where fidayeenattacks, IED blasts, cross firing and border firing is going onfor a long time. I am pained when it is proudly said that we areconstructing 14000 bunkers for border residents instead ofensuring good hospitals, good schools, job opportunities foryouth and tourism initiatives. "Our people (on the borders) are afraid andfrightened. We will construct bunkers for their safety butI want to ask the people of my country what about the educationof our children who got dislocated and are living inrehabilitation camps for the past six months," she said. She said National Conference president Farooq Abdullah had repeated what her father used to say that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has the potential to address the issue of Jammu and Kashmir. "The problem (of Kashmir) is there but its solution lies in humanity. When anyone is getting killed or martyred, heis a resident of the state, except those being pushed from across the border," she said. "I am talking about our civilians,yesterday our youth was killed and earlier such incidents happenedin Shopian, Handwara, where a driver was killed," she added. She listed the work her government was doing to improve the conditions of the people. "We have launched various welfare schemes but because the discourse is something else, so many people are killed in attacks, our good work and major initiatives could not be projected," she said. She said the government had money but was not able to spend it because of the situation. "Big contractors are not willing to come here and localcontractors do not qualify for major projects," she said. She said the alliance stitched (with the BJP) by her father and formerchief minister has resulted in harmony and brotherhood. "It is heartening to see the bells of temples, call for prayers from mosques and prayers from gurdwaras vibrate in the air as was once the case in Kashmir," she said.
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