Jammu, Apr 23: Pitching strongly for Indo-Pak reconciliation, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today said India and Pakistan should begin a new era of peace and prosperity in the region on similar lines as US and Iran have recently ended hostilities and stitched a new phase of engagement.
"If US and Iran can join hands, I see no reason why India and Pakistan cannot come together to restore stability and begin a new era of peace and prosperity in the region," Mehbooba said while interacting with media-persons on the sidelines of her marathon tour here today.
The Chief Minister invoked the legacy of former Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, by sending a strong message of peace and reconciliation to both India and Pakistan.
She cited the example of US and Iran, two sworn enemies, who have recently ended hostilities and stitched a new phase of engagement.
Giving wings to her fathers dream of making Suchetgarh JKs Wagah, the Chief Minister said she will be delighted if the border town is promoted as a people-to-people meeting point with Sialkot, in Pakistan, across the International Border (IB).
She urged media to highlight the cultural camaraderie that exists between the people of India and Pakistan.
"I wonder if hostilities can become news between the two neighbours, why can't cultural bonhomie," she asked, while touring border areas of Suchetgarh and shrine of Baba Chamliyal, revered by people on both sides of the IB. Mehbooba described as most unfortunate the recent incident at Handwara, but hoped that peace will be firmly entrenched in the valley, where years of turbulence has brought untold miseries upon the people.
Favouring more transit points for people-to-people contact, the Chief Minister said cultural affinity across the two regions is too strong to resist.
"I hope our good intentions are reciprocated by our neighbour," she added.
The Chief Minister, who also holds the charge of the Tourism Department, said Jammu has all the makings of an ideal tourist destination, provided the right strategy is framed to showcase Mubarak Mandi Heritage Complex in the City of Temples, Mughal Sarais in Rajouri, Ranjit Sagar Dam in Basohli, border tourism in Suchetgarh and RS Pura and nature destinations like Patnitop, Bhadarwah and Warwan valley.
"I promise to take tourism to all corners of Jammu, for which a proposal for a separate Tourist Circuit will be shortly finalized," she stated.