Announces cvic body polls in Sept-Oct, Panchayat polls in Oct-Dec
SRINAGAR: In his Independence Day message to the people of Jammu & Kashmir, Governor NN Vohra on Tuesday said that he hoped the new government in Pakistan would shun supporting armed militancy in Kashmir so that peace between India and Pakistan can be established.
Vohra said economic growth and social advance has suffered in Jammu and Kashmir “because of Pakistan’s continuing proxy war and its unceasing campaigns”.
“In the past over four years the various initiatives taken by our Prime Minister to secure amicable relations with our neighbour have not so far engendered any result. I very much hope that the new leadership in Islamabad will recognize the futility of continuing with its terrorist agenda in J&K and accept that peace between our two countries will contribute towards the establishment of fruitful relations, growing trade, prosperity and all around mutual benefits,” said Vohra.
The 82-year-old Vohra, who has worked as Kashmir interlocutor for the Indian government in the past, blamed Pakistan for pushing trained militants into Jammu & Kashmir in large numbers.
“In the past year, our western neighbour attempted to infiltrate an unusually large number of trained terrorists across the International Border and Line of Control. Our Army and Police Forces carried out effective operations and neutralised perhaps the largest ever number of terrorists in the past many years. Side by side, we also suffered the loss of Security Forces personnel and civilian lives,” he said.
This year, he said, there were repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistan which caused manifold sufferings to people living in the villages along the LoC.
He also blamed the resistance leadership for disrupting lives of people with their constant calls for protests and shutdowns. “Every call for a hartal affects the functioning of public delivery systems, stoppage of transport, tourism, trade and business, and closure of all educational institutions. In brief, almost every activity comes to a halt, with consequential difficulties for the people and losses on all fronts,” he said.
Vohra said the recurring unrest has most seriously affected the academic schedules and the future careers of the youth. “Whenever I have had the opportunity of visiting any educational institution I have been appealing to the teachers, parents and the community leaders to take every possible step for protecting the interests of the younger generation. It is extremely important that the anger of our youth, from whatever reasons it may arise, must not lead to their getting involved in violent activities,’ he said.
Vohra said that many youths pursuing professional courses had picked up arms. He appealed to community leaders “to exercise their utmost influence to get all the young men who have deviated from the path to return home and pursue their careers”.
Vohra said his first priority is to ensure the maintenance of public order and to see that the entire administrative apparatus functions with speed and efficiency.
“Among the many problems facing us is a huge requirement of funds for securing the completion of scores of projects all over the State, some of which have been lingering for 10-15 years. Side by side, the services of a very large number of workers, not all of whom may have been inducted against available vacancies or after following the due processes, need to be urgently examined for appropriate decisions,” he said.
Vohra said the administration was working assiduously to ensure that the resources available under the Prime Minister’s Development Package of Rs 80,000 crore and under the various pan-India flagship schemes are efficiently utilised.
Vohra said that polls for Urban Local Bodies would be held during September-October and for Panchayats woild be held in phases during October-December this year.
“Today, yet again, I appeal to the leaders of all the political parties in our state, and to all those at the helm of various social, cultural, religious and other influential organisations, to ponder most seriously over what exactly has been gained from the endless turmoil, the continuing human and economic losses and the sufferings which our people have been undergoing in the past several decades. It also needs being recognised that the activities of all those whose sole objective has been to stoke unrest have resulted only in branding our state with a negative profile which has discouraged tourism, external investments and adversely affected the economic advancement of the state,” he said.
“To pull the State, and all our people, out of the prevailing environment of suspicion, fear, distrust and growing cynicism it is of crucial importance that all the stakeholders ― whatever be their political convictions or religious ideologies ― close ranks and muster the courage to accept that our problems can be resolved only through dialogue and discussion and by making sustained sincere efforts towards promoting reconciliation and communal harmony,” Vohra said concluding his speech.