New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday said her state needs special care and attention as people there are still nursing "old wounds inflicted by misfortune and tragedy" as she sought support and cooperation to tide over the challenges in bringing it back on the path of development.
As a Chief Minister, Mehbooba said, her prime objective will be to restore the balance and put Jammu and Kashmir firmly on the path of development.
"I will leave no stone unturned in bringing back smiles on the faces of the people of the state," she said at the annual Joint Conference of Chief Ministers of the States and Chief Justices of the High Courts, at Vigyan Bhawan, in New Delhi.
The conference was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and attended among others by Chief Justice of India Justice TS Thakur and Union Law Minister Sadananda Gowda.
Mehbooba said years of political strife in J-K has resulted in huge loss of life and property and setback to the development process.
The government, along with other mainstream political parties is trying to fight the ideological battle politically, administratively and legally, she said.
"J-K needs special care and attention for which she sought the support and cooperation from all the people in the country. J-K is too sensitive state and the government cannot afford to get distracted by issues which seem to trivialise its special position in India," the Chief Minister said.
She said her task becomes difficult when certain groups in other parts of the country try to challenge the special relationship of J-K with the rest of the country.
"Such acts, besides wasting our energy, send negative signals and vitiate the peaceful atmosphere in the state," she said, adding that "people of J-K are still nursing old wounds inflicted by misfortune and tragedy".
The Chief Minister said this not only aggravates a feeling of distrust in the state but also discredits the mainstream parties in the eyes of the voters who put their faith in their representatives under difficult circumstances.
Responding to the observations made by Mehbooba, Justice Thakur welcomed her participation in the conference after taking over as the Chief Minister of the state.
"The whole country is behind you and realises the difficult situation you are facing in your state," he told the Chief Minister.
The Chief Minister said she has full faith in the wisdom of the country's judicial system, which has proved time and again its sensitivity to the special needs of the state.
She thanked the Chief Justice for judicial interventions made from time-to-time, especially fast-tracking the clearance of insurance claims of people devastated by the 2014 floods.
Mehbooba also batted for setting up of a National Law University in J-K to impart training and education to students and researchers to improve the quality of justice delivery system in the state.
J&K is one of the states which does not have a National Law University yet, she said.
Referring to the proposal sent by the state government in this regard, Justice Thakur highlighted the need for establishing national law universities in all states to improve quality of legal education.
He, however, requested the state governments not to procrastinate release of grants, which in any case do not exceed Rs 2 to 3 crore, as this gives rise to demand for bringing all national law universities under Central regime.
The Chief Minister also agreed to consider positively the suggestion of Justice Thakur to create posts of Secretaries of Legal Aid at district-level.