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Young People Who Pelt Stones In Kashmir Are In ‘Distress’: CM Mehbooba Mufti

People's Democratic Party (PDP) leader Mehbooba Mufti. Express archive photo.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today said the young people who pelt stones at security forces in the Valley are in distress and need to be engaged to understand their problems.

“We have to focus on our children (stone-pelters) because they are in pain, they are in distress. I feel that the need is to engage them, to understand their problems and I am happy that (her brother and PDP candidate for Anantnag by-polls) (Mufti) Tasaduq (Hussain) is trying to play a part in that,” Ms Mufti told reporters after addressing a workers convention in Shopian district of south Kashmir.

The chief minister said the security forces also have to show restraint while dealing with law and order problems.

“Definitely, that is something without which nothing will work. The army and security forces have to show restraint and they are showing restraint,” she said.

Ms Mufti said unemployment and restlessness of the youth in the Valley was the biggest challenge for her government. The youth picking up stones is a big issue. The biggest challenge that my government faces is the youth, their unemployment and the biggest of all the restlessness in their minds. We did not create this in the last one or two years, this restlessness has been there for many years now,” she said.

The chief minister said any problem can be resolved through dialogue.

“Our strength lies in democracy and democracy is the battle of ideas. Any problem, be it small or bigger one like we have in Jammu and Kashmir, its solution lies only in talks and dialogue,” she said.

She said “we have in the past as well held dialogue many-a-times, we have had agreements, we have had Shimla agreement and prior to that Tashkent agreement and after that Lahore declaration”.

“And internally, we had Sheikh Abdullah accord (Indira-Abdullah accord), Rajiv (Gandhi)-Farooq (Abdullah) accord and similar talks were held like with Hurriyat during the time of (former deputy prime minster) L K Advani when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was our prime minister”.

“And, (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi himself yesterday mentioned Vajpayee, saying people liked him because during his tenure he looked for Kashmir solution within the ambit of humanity,” Ms Mufti said.

She said her father and former chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed gave a roadmap in the face of Agenda of Alliance – the common minimum programme between the PDP and the BJP – in which solution of all difficulties lies.

PTI