From past two weeks J&K Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti has began a public outreach program in Kashmir and taken governance to the doorsteps of the people especially in the remote areas where people are striving for basic amenities.
Realizing that government has failed to reach the areas especially in far-flung and militancy infested areas, J&K chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti has now taken on herself to launch the public outreach program. First along with some ministers and top officials she traveled to south Kashmir’s Pulwama district that has witnessed lot of violence in the past two years.
Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti instead of making long speeches over development, met hundreds of men and women who came from different villages of south Kashmir and not only gave patient hearing to the problems faced by the locals in Pulwama, but she also gave on the spot orders to resolve the problems faced by the locals. Chief Minister even passed orders for the fast passage of government works undergoing in the district even ordered several new projects for the district.
Pulwama has been one of the most affected by the militancy especially after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander, Burhan Wani the district has witnessed no development work, and even those projects that were under process couldn’t get completed. With Mehbooba Mufti visiting Pulwama and also spending night there it has send a strong signal to masses, even to the party workers legislators and ministers that they need to work for the masses despite facing threats.
The visit of Mehbooba Mufti has even restored the lost confidence among the people who were feeling alienated. Next day, chief minister reached to Tanghdar and traveled to several villages on the Line of Control and interacted with the villagers, the chief minister gave on the spot orders of several developmental schemes.
Villagers in Tanghdar have also bore the brunt of conflict in the past many decades after the ceasefire on the LoC though villagers witnessed peace, but things have again turned volatile on the Line of Control with Indian and Pakistani soldiers now regularly violating ceasefire agreement that came into force in 2002. Most of the times, common villagers on both sides of the LoC lose their lives in the shelling and firing.
Though in the past, Omar Abdullah chaired a cabinet meeting at Tanghdar when he was the chief minister as a symbolic gesture to show how politicians care about the common people. On Sunday, J&K chief minister again traveled to Kupwara where she held close interactions with the villagers who had come to meet chief minister from remote villages of the district.
Here also J&K chief minister spend night and kept meeting delegations late in the night. Villagers even some political workers were surprised when they saw chief minister taking extra care in redressing the grievances of the locals. Later, along with her cabinet colleagues, Mehbooba Mufti also inaugurated several projects in the district.
Taking a cue from the visit of chief minister, Roads & Buildings Minister, Nayeem Akthar also travelled to North Kashmir’s Baramulla town where he held meeting with locals and also inaugurated a bridge that connects old town with new town. Next day,
Akthar travelled to Tral that is also militancy infested area and had planned to inaugurate several developmental projects; however, his cavalcade was targeted by unidentified gunmen with a grenade that led the killing of two civilians, including a 17 year old girl, Pinky Kour and also left 30 people majority of them civilians injured.
Though nobody claimed the responsibility for the attack on Akthar and militants termed this an attempt of Indian agencies to malign the image of the freedom struggle, however, police and the PDP blamed militants for this attack termed this as an attempt to stall the developmental projects in the area.
Though, Mehbooba’s outreach is earning her goodwill even those who oppose her. At the same time it is an eye opener for the ministers and legislators of ruling party who seldom meet people and still maintain distance from the masses. The outreach program of Mehbooba Mufti has given the legislators and the ministers a chance to again build the lost contact with the people many of whom had voted in their favor in last assembly elections.