Veeri says dialogue reason for PDP-BJP coalition

Veeri says dialogue reason for PDP-BJP coalition
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Indo-Pak friendship only way to solve ‘worrying’ LoC situation

Srinagar: Terming the situation on the Line of Control (LoC) and the working border between India and Pakistan as worrying, the government on Friday said that the reason behind the formation of the present coalition was that it strives to solve the political issues through dialogue.
Presiding over the January 26 function at Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium here, Revenue Minister Abdul Rehman Veeri said that since the year 2000, when the People’s Democratic Party founder, late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, became the chief minister, he always was of the opinion to solve issues through dialogue.
“He continued to do so till the end,” Veeri said during the address. “Our government wanted to solve the issue through political dialogue. The current dispensation was also formed to bring our state out of uncertainty, fear and violence.”
From day one, he said, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has always stressed on solving the issues through dialogue.
“It was encouraging that government of India heeded to her suggestions and appointed an interlocutor to hold a dialogue with various stakeholders,” Veeri said.
“And we believe that all the people representing various schools of thought will join the dialogue process and collectively formulate a road map to take the state out of the quagmire of the problems.”
Referring to the recent border tensions that claimed lives on both sides of the LoC and the international border, Veeri said the development was worrying.
“This worrying situation could end only if both India and Pakistan have friendly relations,” he said. “By being friends to each other, the resources then can be effectively utilised towards fighting poverty and unemployment in the region.”
Speaking about the youth of Kashmir, Veeri said that the Kashmir youth were not short of talent.
“They have the capability to become an example of success in the world. They are our asset,” he said.
“Keeping in view the development of the youth, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti announced amnesty to the 10,000 youth booked during the various incidents of law and order from 2008 to 2017, so that their future is saved.”
Besides, the minister said, the government was providing all sorts of help to strengthen the skills of the youth – a reason why the government every year keeps a good part of the budget reserved for sports and education.
“We want to give direction to the talent of youth,” Veeri said. “We have started Super 50 coaching centres for the students who want to take part in competitive exams. The government is also investing in sports infrastructure.”
The minister said that Rs 41 crore alone has been allocated for the upgradation of Bakshi Stadium besides indoor stadiums were being established in many parts of Kashmir.
“We have also built 83 small and large playfields worth Rs 45 crore,” Veeri said.
He said the government was on the path of building infrastructure across Kashmir. In Srinagar, the minister said, “We have spent Rs 400 crore for Rambagh flyover and Mehjoor Nagar bridge.
“We have spent Rs 70 crore on road infrastructure to build a network of roads. Many of the roads have been completed. In Srinagar, we have started four-laning of the road from Boulevard to Kral Sangri and from Zero Bridge to Srinagar Airport worth Rs 62 crore.”
Under the Prime Minister’s developmental plan, he said, Rs 43,000 crore was spent on tunnel and other infrastructural projects.
“Under the centre’s road projects, there will be 76 percent increase in the road infrastructure while as 84 percent of the work in that area has been completed,” he said.
In Srinagar, the minister said, the government was spending over Rs 1,900 crore so that all the six districts are connected.
“Srinagar city will be turned into a smart city for which over Rs 3,000 crore have been earmarked,” Veeri said.
Meanwhile, despite the elaborate arrangements and Friday’s fair weather, the January 26 celebrations at Sher-e-Kashmir Stadium turned out to be a damp squib.
Though police and government officials, tasked with the function’s supervision were present at the occasion, there was no presence of the general public.
Seats were empty at the function with only 70 to 100 people attending. They watched Revenue Minister Abdul Rehman Veeri’s address and witnessed the parade by government forces and school children.
Many of the girls who participated in the day’s cultural and parade programmes had their faces covered, apparently to hide their identity.