November 2017 News

Kashmiris Inflicting Pain On Themselves: CM

12 November 2017
Rising Kashmir
Yawar Hussain

Srinagar: Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti Sunday said many nations world over were fighting for freedom but nowhere did people inflict so much pain on themselves as people in Kashmir. Addressing the first ever Kashmir Business Conclave here, Mehbooba said Kashmiris beat their chests for months and then settle for waivers and incentives for losses. 'We as people have to decide, which side we are on,' she said. 'First, we protest then we come with a bowl asking for money.' Mehbooba said when things start to settle down, Kashmiris suddenly start agitating on an issue, particularly during the summer months, bringing all the activities to a standstill. 'We don't even spare our schools and our kids stay home for months,' she said. 'We even burn down schools.' The chief minister said Kashmiris on one hand equate the struggle to their egos and on the other hand demand waivers of debts which are a result of those agitations. She questioned as to what the people of the valley had achieved in past 30 years by such self-pain inflicting protests. When not even an inch of land has not moved on any side. 'Every Kashmiri feels relaxed after crossing the Jawahar Tunnel and even boys pelting stones here go to Jammu and watch movies in theatres,' Mehbooba said. Referring to the ongoing dialogue process initiated by New Delhi by appointing an interlocutor, she said, 'We close our doors when they come but later go to them asking for money.' The CM said the downfall in tourism flow was a result of attacks on Amaranth Yatris this year and also incidents of stone-pelting on tourists from the mainland India. 'The whole country gets the message on how we treat our guests,' she said. 'The tourists were coming in but then the Amarnath attack happened and everything went in the reverse mode.' Mehbooba said when she went to meet the Gujarati family whose kith and kin were killed in Amarnath attack, they were very humble, unlike the Kashmiri people who in such a situation would have killed any visitor. She said Delhi and Mumbai-based electronic media channels call those Kashmiris to participate in debates who spill venom against the country which causes more hatred among the masses in India. 'What those people say on the national media about the country is detrimental for the State,' Mehbooba said. 'Same is the case with the people brought to reply from the other side.' She said these retired officials spit venom against Kashmiris leading to further alienation. Terming this quagmire as unfortunate, the CM said people were raising questions on the lineage of Kashmiris on such debates by questioning how Kashmiri people had red cheeks. She said Kashmiri people were caught and were getting killed between the two warring debate groups. Mehbooba said people of India were debating among themselves as to why Kashmiris pelted stones at tourists even though the Government of India was allocating so many funds to the State. She said those seeking solution to Kashmir issue through agitation all means needed to be told from time to time that Kashmiris were in serious state of loss. 'The hopelessness on the faces traders and businessmen present here has depressed me too but then we need to decide as to what we want,' Mehbooba said. 'Businesses in the Valley are seeking waivers of debts today only because of the agitations we bring on to harm ourselves.' She said if same means of protests were carried forward, then Kashmir is would have the same fate even 70 years down the line. 'On 8th July 2016, there were around 13,000 tourists but in some hours hell broke loose,' Mehbooba said. Referring to the recent braid cutting incidents, she said it had started in Rajasthan and hundreds of such cases were reported from Jammu but in the Valley, some other connotations were added to the whole fiasco. Asking Finance Minister, Haseeb Drabu, who was accompanying her at the conclave, to solve all the issues raised by the amalgam of traders, businessmen and hoteliers, the chief minister said the government would consider waving off the debt of Artisan Credit Card holders.

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