Srinagar, September 28 (The New Indian Express): The Kashmir Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, on Wednesday publicly disapproved of India’s boycott of the summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) in Pakistan.
“I am dismayed over non-participation of various leaders of the region in the upcoming SAARC summit in Pakistan capital,” Mehbooba said while addressing a function here.
She said it is unfortunate that while other countries are forging new economic ties, SAARC countries are going in the reverse direction.
Mehboba, who is heading a coalition government with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was indirectly referring to leaders of India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan, who have decided not to participate in the SAARC summit in Pakistan.
On the prevailing tension between India and Pakistan following the deadly militant attack on an army base in Uri, Mehbooba said war can never be an option for resolving issues.
“Violence has no place in modern societies. Those societies who lionize violence as a means to end their problems are doomed. We should look at places around the world where a saga of death and destruction has unfolded and is consuming anybody and everybody,” she said.
Pitching for amicable relations between India and Pakistan, Mehbooba said the two countries should fight the poverty and economic deprivation plaguing the region.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi went to Pakistan with this message on behalf of people of Jammu and Kashmr but the Pathankot incident shattered that process,” she said.
Stressing the need of a bilateral dialogue to resolve the issues, she said the two nuclear armed neighbors must cooperate in the fields of development.
On reports that the Central government is in the process of reviewing the Indus Water Treaty with Pakistan, the Chief Minister said that the agreement, while being beneficial to India and Pakistan, is not in the interest of Jammu and Kashmir.