Mufti calls for development of 17 cr Muslims in country

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Wednesday called for creating a conducive environment for development of 17 crore Muslim population of the country to win their hearts and minds.

“If India has to realise its dream of becoming a world leader, it will have to take all people, including Muslims, along and deal with those with an iron hand who try to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere of the country,” he said at a public meeting here.

Referring to the Sachar Committee report, Mufti called for creating an environment conducive for development of Muslims, who have stood like a rock with India since 1947, when the country was divided on religious lines.

“India’s largest minority see their future in secular India,” he added. Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s slogan of “Sabka saath sabka vikas”, the Chief Minister said, “We need to win the hearts and minds of Muslims, who also deserve a sense of ownership of this great country.”      

Describing the growth of democratic institutions in India as its real pillars of strength, Mufti said that on the contrary, in neighbouring countries such institutions have failed to evolve.

“Pakistan is going through a prolonged phase of instability and is fighting its own battle. In J&K, we created Hill Development Councils in Leh and Kargil, which is a real example of democratic decentralisation of power,” he added.

Referring to the turmoil in Syria, Iraq and those in the Middle East, the Chief Minister drew the attention of people towards the looming crisis there, as people are fleeing their countries and taking refuge in Europe.

“It pains me to see the great civilization of Arab nations being destroyed in such gruesome manner. Gun is no solution to any problem. For how long can people be held to ransom?” he said and called for spreading Islam’s noble message of peace with no strings attached.

Mufti credited former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee for building confidence among people in democratic institutions of the country and ensuring free and fair elections in 2002.

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