The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mufti cry to give up gun

Srinagar, Dec. 25: The Jammu and Kashmir chief minister on Wednesday urged “militants to give up the gun as his government is pursuing an all-inclusive, unconditional dialogue”.

Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was addressing a gathering in Srinagar after inaugurating a bridge on Jhelum river.

“The coalition government is keen to turn around the situation and will seek cooperation of everyone for restoring long-lasting peace in the state,” he said.

In his recent discussions with the Prime Minister, Mufti said he made it “clear that he alone could not tackle the problem which has multi-dimensional complexity”.

“I told the Prime Minister that Mufti Sayeed alone cannot achieve the objective of restoring peace with dignity and would need the entire nation’s support,” Mufti said.

“I have demanded an employment package for the youth, especially those who did not pick up the gun.” He reiterated “it is our duty to see that unemployed youth get job opportunities and lead a respectable life”.

The new Congress-People’s Democratic Party coalition government’s thrust is on reconciliation and rapprochement that envisages a “healing-touch process”, cutting across the political divide.

Mufti referred to the “trail of miseries and agony that the people of Kashmir have crossed during the past 13 years”. “This must end now,” he said.

“The agony must be replaced with fragrance of peace and tranquillity. We want to remake Kashmir as a symbol of peace, brotherhood and tranquillity.”

Mufti listed the measures the government has taken to provide “succour to the affected people under the healing touch and common minimum programme”.

Earlier, addressing a gathering at Pampore, Mufti said the “assassins” of slain PDP MLA Abdul Aziz Mir would be “identified and not spared”.

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