Anantnag, Dec 8: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Patron, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Monday, Dec 8 said a renewed and resolute political effort has to be made to reach out to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, ensuring a fair deal to the primary stakeholders - the people of the State.
Addressing a series of election rallies in this south Kashmir constituency from where he is seeking re-election as PDP's chief ministerial candidate, Mufti said there is no alternative to the agenda of peace and reconciliation, and "while the people of the region want it, the changing threat perceptions demand it."
Mufti made it clear that democracy should not be confined only to holding of elections in the State, the civil society and the institutions of democracy must get a free play.
"It is time that bold and strong initiatives are taken to strengthen the people's faith in the democratic institutions and processes through significant political and economic measures," he said and added there is no reason why J&K be treated as a basket-case perceived to be surviving on doles despite having the right mix of brilliant entrepreneurship and a sustainable resource base.
Calling for tangible measures for the rehabilitation of the flood-affected and reconstruction of the flood-hit infrastructure, Mufti said unfortunately no substantive measures have been taken in this regard so far either by the State or the Central Government.
"By harping on the meager Rs 1000 crore package, we are only compromising the dignity of the people of Jammu and Kashmir who are not seeking any doles but want to be treated at par with the citizens of any other part of the country in similar circumstances," he said and added that by trumpeting the drum about paltry Rs 10,000 crore package and making it a part of the election campaign by BJP leaders is adding insult to the injury as the losses due to the devastating September floods in Kashmir are thousand times more than that.
Mufti said instead of indulging in rhetorical sermons and trying to divide the people on religious and regional lines, the country's political leadership must undo the injustices with the State and ensure safeguards to its political and economic interests in tune with the people's aspirations.
"The current crisis on economic, financial and infrastructure fronts confronting J&K can't be met with small-time responses," he said and added that patchworks can't improve the quality of life of the state's people and the larger issue of exploitation of state's water and land resources has to be addressed to take care of Jammu and Kashmir's development needs in the 21st century.
PDP Patron said there are no limits to the state's economic potential and in addition to its rich water and mineral resources, the brand name Kashmir has many dimensions - be it tourism, art, handicrafts, forests or agricultural and horticultural products.
He said the PDP's vision of a peaceful, stable and prosperous Jammu & Kashmir outlined in its self-rule document is essentially about neutralizing the historical political and economic excesses with the state that were compounded by its natural and political geography.
Referring to the developmental issues, Mufti said if PDP gets the mandate to form the next government in the state, it would not only ensure comprehensive rehabilitation of the flood-affected, but would also formulate a flood-protection plan for J&K to safeguard the State from future disasters.
He said besides development and expansion of Anantnag town, tourist spots in the district would be provided with fresh infrastructure. He said already sanctioned Medical College would be made functional immediately, an Engineering College and Information Technology Institute would be also established in the area.
He said a bypass would be also constructed around Anantnag to decongest the town, besides providing more parking lots and other civic facilities.
Party leaders, Adv Sheikh Javaid, Adv Javaid Sathoo, Adv Gh Ahmad Thakur, Bashir Ah Pahalwan, Sajad Ahmad, Mohd Yousuf, Imran Amin, Tariq Ah, Majid Ah, Rouf Ahmad and others were also present on this occasion.