Countering a long-time allegation that the ruling People’s Democratic Party is soft on Pakistan and the separatists, Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Thursday said that “Jammu and Kashmir is and will always remain with India”, while also exhorting Prime Minister Narendra Modi to initiate constructive dialogue with Pakistan to end stalemate over the Kashmir conflict.
During his speech in Pahalgam on Thursday, Mufti said, “Jammu and Kashmir is and will remain a part of the country and the people here are destined to live with the rest of the country.”
Mufti said PM Modi has a “historic opportunity” to register his name in the annals of history by resolving disputes with Pakistan. He lauded Modi for sealing the PDP-BJP alliance earlier this year, saying this was a testimony of his “strategic vision”. He batted for the opening of roads from Kashmir to Central Asia. Reiterating his faith in Modi’s leadership, he said he hoped that the PM would help India inch closer to Central Asia, thus improving the scope of trade manifold. He said that Jammu and Kashmir has embarked on the path of development with a “mindboggling” speed after the PDP-BJP government came to power.