Minister for Public Works Department Naeem Akhtar today said the government was making all efforts for bringing sustainable peace to Jammu and Kashmir. He expressed deep grief over the killings of two civilians in Army firing in Shopian last week. Replying to a discussion on the Shopian killings in the Legislative Council, the minister said Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had taken up the matter with Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and that a probe had been ordered into the tragic incident. The minister said an atmosphere was being created by vested interests to sabotage the peace efforts and that militancy-related violence were also hampering the peace efforts. “Cutting across all political barriers we need to build a consensus and to find a durable solution to this problem and to end the vicious cycle of violence that is destroying our lives, our economy, our education and our societal values,” he added. “Dialogue is the only solution to and ultimate way for the resolution of the state’s problems,” he said. He accused some TV channels of having unleashed a vicious campaign against Kashmir and Kashmiris which, he said, was only adding fuel to the fire. Earlier, several members participated in the discussion on the killings in Shopian. The discussion was initiated by Qaiser Jamsheed Lone by condemning the incident and demanding an expeditious probe. BJP MLC Surinder Kumar Ambardar expressed grief over the civilian killings and said that such incidents were heart-wrenching and should be stopped.
He advocated initiation of a dialogue process to put an end to this vicious cycle of violence. Asking members not to make it a discussion of army versus civilians, Ambardar said that army was working in the most difficult situation in Kashmir and ensuring that militancy do not increase in the valley. There is deliberate attempt by some sections in the state to target the army in one way or other, he said. Congress MLC Ghulam Nabi Monga condemned the incident and said that such incidents should not recur and bloodshed should be stopped. He advocated that “we need to come together to put an end to the grave issue”. He welcomed the magisterial probe and lodging of an FIR in this regard. PDP MLC Firdous Ahmad Tak called it a tragic incident and said that such incidents should not recur in future. “We do not need to politicise the matter,” he said.