Commenting on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to China, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed said “PM’s visit to China is a step in the right direction to create an environment for investment in the region”. “Prime Minister’s focus has been to bring India closer to its neighbours. When during the swearing in ceremony, he invited the heads of the SAARC countries, it was never a convention, but a step towards it,” he said. “He is focusing on good relations with China. He visited Japan, Sri Lanka, Canada, Nepal. There is definitely an atmosphere of change”, Mufti said. “There is compatibility between the two. That is a step in the right direction. China has a policy, we have a policy and Pakistan too has a policy,” he added.
The Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, said the alliance between the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) and his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is a significant step and a historic decision. “I see this as an opportunity and it was also my conscientious decision. Modi had got a full mandate from the people of India and he still walked to us for an alliance”, Mufti told media persons at a luncheon meet in Jammu, the winter capital of the roiled Himalayan state.
“It is his statesmanship that he shook his hands with us in the formation of the government in the state”, he said adding “ yeh daagu ka bandan nahin hai, yeh bandan sahi bandan hai (alliance is not made of strings but made on a strong foundation). “Since 1947 we have been loitering between here and there with uncertainty. May be the system gets stabilized now. There must be some purpose, he may be watching the situation on a bigger canvas and may be having a bigger objective for the betterment of the state and the country”, the chief minister said.
Mufti said, “if India has to emerge as a great nation, it has to be friendly with its neighbours”. He said India returned to talks with Pakistan even after the parliament attack and Kargil conflict and “talks alone can resolve all contentious issue”.
Breaking his silence on the row on the establishment of All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) in the state, Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayed said, “It is clear that AIIMS is for Kashmir while Jammu will get IIT and IIM. If the people of Jammu can travel to Delhi for better treatment, I do not think they have any issue in traveling to Kashmir, which takes only half an hour by air and will take 4 hours by road after four-laning of Jammu-Srinagar highway is completed.” “My government sees Jammu and Kashmir as one unit and there is no question of betrayal of one region or another on AIIMS or any such issue,” he said.