Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s charge that India has abandoned Kashmir is a serious indictment of New Delhi . It needs to be studied and analyzed and then acted upon to build the bridges between the Valley and the rest of the country.
She did not mince words while speaking at the TAAI convention in Srinagar, when she said that the only solution that Delhi seems to be having for Kashmir is the bullet for bullet policy , and that is not going to help the matters As she was building a case for a positive perception and wholesome tourist season in Kashmir this year, for the tourist season had become the biggest casualty in the past few years , she laid focus on “ hand holding” by the country , which she said was necessary to open new doors of optimism for the people of Kashmir lost in distress because of the tough times they were going through.
In realistic terms, what Mehbooba Mufti told the audience of the travel agents, tour operators and others interested in visiting Kashmir , was reflection of the dilemma of a troubled Chief Minister who is facing flak from all sides. Everyone wants her to do something for them , but she is caught in a situation where she feels her own people are not understanding the real importance of peace and the revival of tourism and at the same time she was mourning the absence of the helping hand of Delhi .
When she demanded “ healing touch” from the country , Mehbooba was telling Delhi that it has failed to do so and has relief purely on the military approach – gun versus gun. She wanted Delhi to understand the Kashmir situation in realistic terms . Her call, if read properly, was for the dialogue with the alienated sections of society , and a passionate plea to the tour operators to reward the unmatched hospitality of the people of Kashmir .” It is amazing,” she told the audience as she wondered whether the paradise on the earth-Kashmir is better than the mythical paradise . “ This is the paradise of mountains, forests and brooks”, she explained as she try to tell the world that it should not get deterred by the explosive broadcasts of encounters in some remote corner of Kashmir .” The whole Kashmir is not affected by that, please don’t go by that images of flames and gun shots in one of the areas, the rest of Kashmir is violence- free.”.
The bloodshed on the LoC was killing . This should be stopped, she pleaded and it was again a call to New Delhi to end this with the solution other than gun for gun. The clear meaning was that Delhi should open dialogue with Pakistan .