Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday urged India and Pakistan to revive their peace process for the sake of peace in Jammu and Kashmir. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader made the appeal after joining thousands at the annual Urs at the shrine of revered Sufi saint Baba Chamliyal in Ramgarh sector near Pakistan border.
Resuming the stalled India-Pakistan reconciliation was imperative to bring about peace in Jammu and Kashmir and beyond, she said.
The Chief Minister also pitched for opening new cross-border meeting points to expand people-to-people contacts between the divided Jammu and Kashmir.
“We are working with the government of India for opening the Suchetgarh-Sialkot, Kargil-Skardu, Nowshera-Mirpur and some other roads to expand people-to-people contacts.”
She added: “Suchetgarh has the potential of becoming Jammu and Kashmir’s Wagah, as was envisioned by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed,” her father and predecessor who died in January.
Mehbooba Mufti said in the long run Suchetgarh could become another trading point with Pakistan like Salamabad and Chakan-da-Bagh.
She said Suchetgarh had been taken up for development as a border tourism destination.
This would involve restoring the old Octroi Post, constructing a multi-purpose hall, developing a water body and landscaping the lawns to enhance the ambience of the place. Every year devotees from India and Pakistan converge at the border near the sanctum sanctorum tc pay their obeisance to Baba Chamliyal, revered by people in both countries.
While Pakistan Rangers offered thaddar’ for the shrine, the civil administration of Samba and the Border Security Force handed over ‘Shakkar and Sharbat’ (holy soil and water) to the Rangers.
Felicitating people on both sides of the border for exhibiting affectionate cultural bonding, the Chief Minister said Chamliyal village would be developed to promote border tourism.
She called for highlighting the cultural camaraderie between the people of India and Pakistan.