Srinagar: Pitching for reconciliation between India and Pakistan, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today favoured dialogue between the two countries to take the CBMs to the next higher level, including opening of more routes across the Line of Control (LoC).
Mehbooba said this while interacting with a delegation from the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir which called on her here today.
She said dialogue and reconciliation between India and Pakistan would bring an end to violence, acrimony and miseries of the people in the state.
Mehbooba said it was “my mission” to connect people and regions with more routes and other positive activities.
The Chief Minister said she has been demanding opening of all historic routes across the LoC which can get the state on the threshold of prosperity and economic affluence besides sending across the message of peace, coexistence and amity between India and Pakistan.
Mehbooba said it was unfortunate that violence and acrimony has taken over the discourse between the two countries due to which activity on the positive ideas has slowed down.
She, however, exuded optimism that the negativity would “ultimately” fade away and such positive initiatives would take centre stage.
The present phase of these CBMs needs to be taken to the next higher level where the points of convergence between the people of the two countries become much more pronounced and the lines dividing them become irrelevant forever, Mehbooba said.
The chief minister stressed on frequent cultural exchanges between the youth, institutions, groups and communities on the two sides of the LoC.
Cultural exchanges have proved instrumental in bringing the people and the societies closer and I would like the new generation to take a lead in this regard, she said.
If we open up educational institutes for students of the both sides where they can benefit from the facilities and advancements made so far, it will help a great deal, Mehbooba said.
The chief minister said in areas like tourism, disaster management, agriculture and climate change expertise and difficulties can be exchanged to achieve better results.
Mehbooba informed the visiting delegation that Shardha Peeth, on the other side of the LoC, is not only a sacred place for the Kashmiri Pandits but represents the collective ethos and pluralistic society of the state.
She favoured visits to the place by members of the Kashmiri Pandit community, thereby opening a new chapter of pilgrimage tourism among the people across the LoC.
The delegation shared with the chief minister its observations about the opening of routes across the LoC and the consequent facilitation it has brought to travellers, particularly members of divided families living on the two sides of the divide.
Members of the delegation informed Mehbooba that the opening of travel and trade routes between the two parts of the state has provided more contacts at the people’s level which has led to their emotional integration paving the way for lowering down of acrimony, violence and ill will between them.
The re-opening of these historic routes in the state has been able to restore back, to some extent, the social fabric across the state, the delegation told the chief minister while seeking more progress on these positive interventions.