As the death toll due to crossfiring on the Line of Control and the border continues to mount, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday urged India and Pakistan to open channels of communication and take steps to deescalate the situation.
“I am pained over the fresh spate of civilian killings, including children and women, in border shelling and urge the political leadership in New Delhi and Islamabad to take effective and urgent measures to de-escalate the situation and bring an end to the miseries of the hapless people of the state who are caught in the deadly crossfire,” Mehbooba said.
She added: “We in state yearn for peace as we have been suffering immensely because of the hostility and violence in the region and know very well its dangers and perilous consequences.”
Mehbooba said India and Pakistan must open channels of communication at the earliest. “The escalation of violence along the borders and LoC should keep reminding India and Pakistan of the inevitability of sitting across the table to find a peaceful, just and pragmatic solution to all the contentious issues,” she said.
Stating that wars across the world have resulted in destruction of once prosperous countries and annihilation of cultures, the Jammu and Kashmir CM said it is the responsibility of the political leadership in India and Pakistan to save the region from such a scenario. “Whatever be the reasons for hardening of stances and attempts by the vested interests to subvert the peace process, there is no substitute to the reconciliatory policy which was started in 2003 and had worked so well.
She also called for serious efforts from political parties and the civil society to revive the peace and reconciliation process for the larger good of the people. “The senseless violence is the common enemy of the people in both India and Pakistan as the bloodshed has devoured their lives over the years,” she said.