J-K CM expresses grief over civilian deaths, says guns cannot resolve issues

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti today expressed grief over the death of five civilians near an encounter site in Shopian, saying that guns, either of a militant or of security forces, cannot resolve issues.

Asserting that political matters need political intervention, she said issues in Jammu and Kashmir can be resolved only through a sustained dialogue between all stakeholders.

According to the police, five Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists including a top commander and a fresh recruit — a university professor — were killed in an encounter in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir today, even as five civilians died during clashes between protesters and law enforcing agencies near the encounter site.

“It sounds very depressing to note that our state is losing young lives to the unending cycle of violence, who could otherwise be utilised for a positive contribution to the state.

“Today’s deaths have brought a stark fact to the fore that gun, either way of a militant or that of security forces, is no solution for resolving issues,” Mufti said in a statement here.

The chief minister also appealed to all sections of civil society, media, students, parents and other stakeholders to rise to this critical occasion, play their role and help in putting an end to the “vicious cycle of killings and destruction”.

“I have reiterated it time and again that political issues need political interventions. I appeal the youth that their energies, youthfulness, dreams and aspirations are far more important and sacred to the society than their dead bodies or graves,” she said.

The chief minister said, “The three-decades-long violence in the state is a testimony to the fact that guns from either side cannot ensure peace, but a compassion driven reconciliation process based on mutual respect surely can.”

“In this regard, I appeal to the national leadership to show the element of compassion and empathy as required by the present day situation here and display the statesmanship to get J-K out of the quagmire of killings by engaging in a meaningful dialogue in the state. The sooner it happens, the more we can get our state out of the vicious cycle of killings and destruction,” she said.

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