SRINAGAR (INDIA), Apr. 27: Stone-pelting would not help Jammu and Kashmir and the youth of the state should channelise their energy towards constructive pursuits, former captain of the Indian cricket team Mohammad Azharuddin said Wednesday.
He also advocated a political initiative to reach out to the people of the state.
"Yes, there should be a political initiative, because if you do not take it, then you have to continue to face such problems (violence)," the cricketer turned politician told reporters at the sidelines of an event in Baramulla district, 55 kms from here.
Azharuddin and actor Dia Mirza were in north Kashmir town in connection with a two-day youth festival Jashn-e-Baramulla, organised by Army, which concluded today.
The cricketer also said that stone-pelting would not benefit the youth of Kashmir.
"I am totally against stone-pelting. God has bestowed you with youth but you are ruining it by hurling stones. What will you achieve? You will pelt for one year, two years, what will happen afterwards? You should use your youth for something good, nurture your talent and get education as it will show you what is right and what is wrong," he said.
He said that when people do not read and study, there is the danger of someone guiding them to the wrong path.
Citing the example of Kashmiri cricketer Pervez Rasool, he said Kashmiri youth are talented but need proper guidance.
The start has been made by Rasool, I want others to join in and if you play well then no one can stop you, he said.
Azharuddin emphasised that violence was not the solution to issues.
"If you take the army's budget which is spent here (for security), if that can be spent on something else when there is no violence, it will do wonders," he said.
Azharuddin also advised the media to highlight the positives about Kashmir and desist from stereotyping the youth.
On cricketer Gautam Gambhir's recent tweet controversy, Azhar said that was his personal statement and it does not make any difference.
People should exercise caution but when someone wants to say something, you cannot stop him, he said.
Gambhir had recently in a tweet come out in support of CRPF jawans who were attacked by stone pelters in Srinagar during elections in the Kashmir valley.
Praising the army, Azharuddin said the force is making tremendous efforts for engaging the youth in Kashmir.
No one can make more such efforts. Army does not want to harm anyone. Their job is to protect everyone, the whole of India. We should appreciate the army for they work in such tough conditions, he said.(PTI)
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