CM Mufti Praises PM Modi On Eve Of Visit, Says He Cares
Mufti Praises Modi (file picture)
SRINAGAR: Ahead of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir on November 7, Chief Minister Mufti MOhammad Sayeed has said it will be a “turning point" in the history of the troubled state.
While the authorities have jailed the separatists who have planned a parallel event on the day the Prime Minister is expected to address a rally in Srinagar, Mufti said people of the state have "great expectations” from Modi who "genuinely wants to win the hearts and minds of people.”
“The Prime Minister is a visionary leader and has his eyes fixed on overall development of J&K. I see this visit as an opportunity for history to repeat itself,” he said during a public meeting here which was also attended by the Education Minister and PDP ideologue, Naeem Akhtar.
With eyes on the financial package for the rehabilitation of last year's flood victims, the Chief Minister said he hopes for the Centre’s support in restoring the damaged infrastructure, relief to flood-affected people and long-term measures to prevent recurrence of floods by constructing Dogripora-Wullar alternate flood channel.
“The worst floods in 150 years devastated us. We have to provide succour to the people who have borne the brunt of such a colossal calamity,” he added.
Recalling the "memorable visit" of former Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, to Srinagar in 2003, Mufti urged India and Pakistan to “shun confrontation” and engage in a meaningful dialogue for resolving Kashmir issue.
"Our state becomes the first casualty of any hostile environment between the two neighbouring countries. If India has to emerge as a world power, it will have to foster and maintain friendly relations with all its neighbours, including Pakistan,” he said.
The chief minister, who has come under scathing criticism for allying with the right-wing party, said the coalition was forged after "thoughtful consideration", "I took a calibrated decision to opt for BJP in the larger interests of all the three distinct regions of the state. Way back in 1947, our visionary leaders had demonstrated similar political maturity and acumen to accede with India, keeping in view the pluralistic demography of J&K. We will remove trust deficit and ensure that no region harbours a feeling of deprivation or discrimination," he said.
The chief minister promised a “new era of development” in J&K, citing several instances where Centre has extended “wholehearted support” in road and rail connectivity, healthcare, education and rural development sectors.
"The Prime Minister must personally intervene in speeding up execution of four-lanning of Srinagar-Jammu Highway and fixing the timeline of 2017 for its completion and broadening the scope of railway network in the state,” an official spokesperson, quoting Mufti, said in a statement.