Srinagar: Governor NN Vohra on Wednesday said that the state government was committed to safeguarding the special status of Jammu and Kashmir accorded in the Constitution of India and spelt out in the “Agenda of Alliance”, the basis of the PDP-BJP coalition government. He also appreciated Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative to hold talks with Pakistan and his “sub-continental agenda of peace” that, he said, “will have a positive outcome for normalising the situation in the state”.
Vohra was addressing the joint session of the state legislature here.
He said he was pleased to be associated with this joint session in which, for the first time in the history of Jammu and Kashmir, a young lady is the Leader of the House. “This historical event is a wonderful example of the emancipation and empowerment of women in our state,” he said. He also paid tributes to former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.
Welcoming Modi’s initiative to reach out to Pakistan, he said it was welcomed in the state and revived hopes for peace, particularly along the borders where the lives of the people have been shattered. “The impact of the Prime Minister’s visit to Lahore and the subsequent bilateral dialogues at different levels have generated hope for our state, which has for long borne the brunt of unstable relations between the two countries,” he said.
“The people of the state are hopeful that the revived initiatives for the establishment of friendly relations with our western neighbour will have a positive outcome for the restoration of peace and normalcy, particularly for the people residing in the border areas, who live in an environment of insecurity and continue to suffer human and economic losses.”
He said the government is endeavouring to enlarge and upgrade cross-LoC trade in collaboration with the Government of India. He said to enhance the dividends of peace, the state government is working to develop border tourism, particularly in the areas of Suchetgarh and Chamliyal.
The Governor appreciated the role of police and other Indian forces in “playing an important role in maintaining law and order and undertaking counter insurgency operations.”
Referring to socio-economic growth, he said the initiatives will pave the way for youth to lead peaceful and productive lives, when the various moves have been institutionalised by political and legislative processes.
He said the government was engaged in reorienting and upgrading the education system to make it an “enabler” and not merely a “certification department” which compels educated youth to seek jobs which do not match their potentials or their qualifications.
He said the state government was committed to reviving the creativity and sense of purpose among the youth. Already, he said, encouraging reports are coming in about groups of self-assured entrepreneurs succeeding in establishing their own enterprises, particularly in horticulture, handicraft, information technology and other sectors.
“The establishment of two Cluster Universities and two Engineering Colleges is expected to provide a significant boost to the enlargement of academic and research activities in the state,” Vohra said.
He appreciated the growing trend of local youngsters joining the Indian civil services. “As a former civil servant I note, with enormous satisfaction, that a growing number of our talented boys and girls are getting into the All India Civil Services every year.”