Nation must help Kashmir meet huge challenges: Mehbooba Mufti

New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday sought the backing of the entire nation in helping tide over the difficult challenges confronting her state, which had pegged it back on the development index as compared to other states. Speaking at the annual conference of chief ministers and chief justices of high courts here, she said that as chief minister, her prime objective will be to restore the balance and put her state firmly on the path of development. Participating in the structured discussions on improving justice delivery system in the country, she said years of political strife in Jammu and Kashmir resulted in huge loss of life and property, not to mention the setback to the development process in the state, which needs special care and attention. Mehbooba Mufti said that Jammu and Kashmir is too sensitive a state and the government cannot afford to get distracted by issues which seem to trivialise its special position in India. She said her task becomes difficult when certain groups in other parts try to challenge the state's special relationship with the rest of the country and question the same which is part of the Indian constitution. "Such acts, besides wasting our energy, send negative signals and vitiate the peaceful atmosphere in the state," she said, adding people in Jammu and Kashmir are still nursing old wounds inflicted by horrific tales of misfortune and tragedy. She noted that this not only escalates a feeling of distrust in the state, but also discredits the mainstream parties in the eyes of the voters. Responding to her observations made by Mehbooba Mufti, Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur said: "The whole country is at your back and realizes the difficult situation you are facing in your state."  He also dwelt at length about the liberties of people and said access to courts is a fundamental right which cannot be denied to any one, howsoever frivolous his petition may be. The chief minister said she has full faith in the wisdom of the country's judicial system, which has proved time and again their sensitivities to the special needs of the state. She thanked the CJI and admired various judicial interventions made from time-to-time, especially in fast-tracking clearance of insurance claims of the people devastated by the colossal floods of 2014. She also batted for setting up of a National Law University in the state to impart training and advanced education to students and researchers so that quality of justice delivery system improves. Jammu and Kashmir is one of the states which don't have a National Law University yet.