With Kashmir on edge over civilian killings and students continuing anti-government protests, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday asserted that if anybody can solve the Kashmir issue, it is Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the whole country would support his decision.
Mufti while referring to Modi's Pakistan visit previous year, praised his "strength" and said: "It was him who visited Pakistan during heightened tensions between the two countries". "Whatever he will decide the nation will support him". And that was the reason he went to Lahore in an hour and met the prime minister there.
On April 25, Mufti met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in Delhi and was "unequivocally" told that the Centre couldn't offer a "dialogue (with separatists and other restive groups in the Valley) while there is stone-pelting and militant violence". "His visit was a sign of courage and not weakness", she said. The last visit to Pakistan by an Indian prime minister was in 2004 by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Mehbooba Mufti hailed PM Modi's Lahore visit as a "sign of strength" while saying that former PM Manmohan Singh wanted to visit Pakistan but couldn't muster courage. "Parents should be careful about the future (of their wards)", he said, adding, "We need to see what education these institutions are imparting to our children". "But unfortunately Mufti was out of the government and Vajpayee left, and the process came to grinding halt", the PDP leader lamented. "It was not an ordinary feat", she said in an apparent hint to push for talks. "Now after 2008, for the first time, people have started expressing passion in the matter", CM said. "This lava has now spread to the streets and we are forced to face this situation", she said.
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Deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh said the project reflects the coalition government's commitment towards developmental works.
Main opposition party National Conference (NC) while reacting to the Chief Minister's assertions termed it as her "sycophancy" and said that the same has humiliated Kashmiris.
The CM said while her government is trying to improve the situation in Kashmir, there are some forces which do not want it.