Srinagar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi can take bold steps like resuming talks with Pakistan and is better for Jammu and Kashmir than his predecessor Manmohan Singh who could not even visit his ancestral home there, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said on Tuesday.
“If there is any leader who can talk to Pakistan it is him (PM Modi). Manmohan Singh was the Prime Minister for 10 years. He had a wish to visit the other side (Pakistan) as he was born there and wanted to see his ancestral home. But he could not muster courage,” Ms Mufti said.
Narendra Modi, she said, went to Lahore in December 2015 on the wedding of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s daughter adding that terror attacks in Pathankot, Uri and Nagrota had happened after that. “Even then, if there is anyone with the mandate to heal the wounds of people of Jammu and Kashmir, take the state out of the morass, start dialogue with Pakistan and make the atmosphere conducive, it is only Narendra Modiji and no one else,” Ms Mufti said addressing PDP workers in the south Kashmir district of Anantnag.
She was campaigning for her brother Mufti Tassaduq Hussain, who is the party’s candidate for the Anantnag Lok Sabha bypoll. Ms Mufti had vacated the seat last year after her election to the Legislative Assembly. She also emphasised the importance of connecting J&K to the rest of the world saying the closure of traditional routes had affected the state adversely.
“China is constructing road (CPEC) in the part of Jammu and Kashmir on other side of LoC. It will connect that part of the state with China, Central Asia and south Asia,” she said adding that he father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had a similar intention.
He wanted to open all those routes in Kashmir and Jammu region, she said. “But after 1947 we were besieged. We were be fooled by leaders since 1947. If we had sought opening of these routes, Jammu and Kashmir would have been number one state in the country in terms of development,” she said. The chief minister said it was for these reasons that Jammu and Kashmir needs a person like PM Modi at the Centre who has the mandate to take bold decisions.
“We don’t only have bijli, pani and sadak issues, we have humanitarian issues. If they (India and Pakistan) are talking about Indus Water Treaty today, tomorrow they will talk about opening of the roads,” she added.
Ms Mufti said it was part of Agenda of Alliance between the PDP and BJP that these routes should be opened, dialogue should be restarted and situation should improve.