Declare J&K peace zone, let SAARC countries invest here: PDP chief Mehbooba to PM Modi

Srinagar: PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declare Jammu and Kashmir a peace zone and make it a model of SAARC cooperation by opening all routes across the Line of Control (LoC) and allowing every member country to invest in the region. In a fiery speech at Sher-e-Kashmir Park here on the occasion of the PDP's 23rd foundation day, she also said there was no other option than dialogue to resolve the Jammu and Kashmir issue. “I request you ( PM Modi) that J&K whose name you fear to take along with the name of Pakistan, there is a saying in English catch the bull by the horns', make this J&K and the other J&K a model of SAARC cooperation. Declare both J&K's a zone of peace and let all the SAARC countries invest here. Let they open their banks here, their handicrafts universities be opened, every one be allowed to move freely, open all routes,” Mehbooba said addressing the party workers.

The trade between India and Pakistan goes on at the Wagah border in Punjab but it was suspended in Jammu and Kashmir, she said. “Have we ever heard that there was firing on the Punjab border or that there was war between India and Pakistan on the Gujarat border or Rajasthan border? No, it only happens on the borders in J&K. There is a war inside J&K as well. Ten lakh army personnel on one side and youth with guns on the other. You will have to resolve this issue and there is no other option,” the PDP chief said. She also asked the prime minister to make J&K a gateway to Central and South Asia.