Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Friday said reconciliation with Pakistan is on the agenda of the ruling PDP-BJP alliance in the state but termed it as an “evolutionary process”.
Mufti said that he will continue pursuing the agenda of reconciliation with the neighbouring country with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
When asked about why he termed the Modi’s Srinagar rally as historic even though he did talk about reconciliation with Pakistan, Mufti said,”Modi is not under any pressure to talk about Pakistan.”
Mufti said that Modi has been totally focused on the development of the state.
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“You (media) should not jump to conclusions. Everything is in an evolutionary process… Whatever is that. Reconciliation with Pakistan, it is on the agenda of alliance,” Mufti told a press conference at his residence on Friday.
“It (reconciliation with Pakistan) is there. I have high hope on that. Why should we make Prime Minister say everything like that (talk about reconciliation with Pakistan). Why should he say that. He is not under pressure to say that,” Mufti said.
The PDP chief was replying to a volley of questions on the Prime Minister’s rally in Srinagar.
“I met the Prime Minister in private and impressed upon him that it will be good to talk to Pakistan the way Atal Bihari Vajpayee did. But he is PM of the country. But there is no option except reconciliation,” he said.
The chief minister said,”I have been insisting on that. It (reconciliation with Pakistan) is a process. It is not necessary that the PM will accept everything like this as of now.”
“I say if there is friendship with Pakistan, we are bestowed with peace here. During the Vajpayee’s period he got peace and everything was peaceful. I will not give up my effort, it will be my endeavour to pursue it with the PM to have reconciliation and that is my dream,” he added.
Asked whether Modi is proving to be difficult for you as compared to Vajpayee as far as holding talks with Pakistan is concerned, Mufti said, “during my previous meetings with him, Modi has been totally focused on Jammu and Kashmir on development front. Good governance and development one major issue.”
“When he (Modi) entered into alliance with me, it (reconciliation with Pakistan) is written there that there will be friendly relations with the neighbouring state.
“It is not possible that Mufti will achieve everything in one go. It is important that I be able to create atmosphere of friendship between two countries,” he added.
“In the end, it is PM’s own choice whether to touch any subject or not; I am not a dictator who will dictate all things to him,” Mufti said.
Replying to another question about whether the state government will address Jammu as per new coined word of ‘Naya’ Jammu and Kashmir, Mufti said, “We are as serious as never before. Justice will be done to every region.”
“We will empower people. We will hold civic elections etc. We will go for devolution of the powers and empower block committees and district panels in the decision making setup,” he said.
On the question whether the Centre has sanctioned two AIIMS for J&K, he said “there will two full-fledged AIIMS in J&K …one for Jammu and another for Kashmir. Rs 2,000 crore have been earmarked for Kashmir and Jammu regions for setting up of two AIIMS.”