Mehbooba iterates dialogue only way to end violence

Mehbooba iterates dialogue only way to end violence
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Lists govt’s achievements in R-day message

Jammu: Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday hoped that people from all shades of opinion in the state would join the ongoing dialogue process.
Mufti said that she had been pleading for the initiation of dialogue in the state and expressed happiness that “centre, agreeing to her suggestion, appointed Dineshwar Sharma as the interlocutor for the state”.
“Dialogue is the only way by which the culture of violence in the state could be ended,” chief minister stated in her message to the people on the occasion of the 69th Republic Day of India.
She said that the appointment of Sharma as the interlocutor is a major development to ensure durable peace in the state rather than a temporary measure to calm down tempers as happened in the past.
New Delhi appointed Sharma as a special representative and has tasked him with the job to hold dialogue with all the “stakeholders of Kashmir” to bring what it described as “peace in the state”. He has been given the rank of cabinet secretary.
Expressing concern on the obtaining situation along borders which has led to huge loss of life and property, the Chief Minister hoped Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, using his stature and wisdom, would pace up his efforts in this regard so that the state becomes a bridge of peace between the two countries, ending the bitter phase of acrimony between them.
Even if Sharma during his four visits have met number of people including political parties, the pro-freedom groups have refused to meet him terming it as a time wasting exercise.
She claimed that “fascination for violence” was declining among the youth, adding, parents, friends and even social media are playing their role in dissuading them from slipping into a path where death and destruction are the only end results.
The chief minister stated the people of the state have been the immediate witnesses and victims of violence.
Terming peace imperative for executing developmental and welfare initiatives of her government, Mehbooba sought support from people in this regard.
“If peace prevails, developmental and welfare measures can take off, tourists can come, investment can happen and also new political initiatives can materialize”, she stated.
Outlining the achievements of her government, the Chief Minister said soon after her taking over, she had promised review of the cases registered against youth from 2008.
“As the things cooled, I started the process and ordered the withdrawal of cases registered from 2008 to 2014 against 4327 youth”, she said adding subsequently she ordered withdrawal of cases registered from 2015 to 2017 against 4740 totaling to the withdrawal of cases against more than 9700 youth so far.
Mufti said she sanctioned cash relief and offered jobs to the pellet victims who lost their vision during 2016.
Expressing happiness for maintaining the culture of brotherhood, amity and friendship, Mufti reiterated it was encouraging to note that Jammu has emerged as an abode of this culture where people from all regions, faiths and cultural diversities are living.
“I compliment the citizens of this city who have exemplified themselves as a tolerant society in the present-day world where hatred and suspicion have taken the centre stage”, she said in her message.
In order to connect with the people, the Chief Minister said she initiated a series of public grievances camps in so far 14 districts of the state while as in the remaining districts these would be held soon.
The aim, she said, is to execute expeditiously the welfare measures she has thought of for the people.
Terming the decision to regularize around sixty thousand daily and casual workers as historic, Mufti said step would free these workers from the uncertainty of getting their dues and running from pillar to post in this regard.
Similarly, she said, the government has decided to implement the 7th Pay Commission recommendations in respect of its employees from April this year which, she said, would encourage them to work with zeal and contribute more positively to the welfare of the State.
The Chief Minister, it may be recalled here, had promised the regularization of these casual workers and implementation of 7th pay Commission recommendations on the Republic Day last year.
Describing Prime Minister’s Development Package as a major intervention to change the developmental and infrastructural profile of the state, the Chief Minister said under the said package a whopping Rs 42000 crore would be spent on development and up gradation of highways, construction of tunnels between the regions and further improving the inter-regional connectivity in the state. “It is a challenge, (given the topography) but we are doing it wholeheartedly”, she said in her address adding her Government has approved Rs 4000 crore worth two ring road projects to address the traffic congestion in Srinagar and Jammu cities and preliminary work on these projects has already started.
Terming Education as a means to change the fate of a society, Mehbooba Mufti said her government has decided to upgrade 400 middle and high schools to further strengthen the educational network.
She said during the last year itself the two notified Cluster Universities (at Srinagar and Jammu) have started functioning and 17 new degree colleges have been proposed at places where the students have to travel long distances to attend colleges.
The Chief Minister said she reviewed the pace of work on the five new Medical Colleges in the State periodically during last year and even more than 3000 vacancies have been created for these colleges so that these are made functional as soon as the construction is completed.
Mufti said her government is making efforts to tide over the problem of unemployment in the State. “Even as we are creating job avenues in sectors like industry, handicrafts and tourism, during the last year more than six thousand boys and girls were appointed in various Government Departments and 10 thousand more recruitments are in the process”, she informed. Besides, she said three thousand positions of Rehbar –i-Khel are being filled to impart sports training to the youth.
The Chief Minister said as an important measure to connect people of difficult areas, her government introduced air connectivity to far flung areas like Gurez, Machil, Wadwan, Kishtwar besides large number of welfare schemes, particularly for marginalised and weaker sections, were introduced by her government.

Information Department