All Shades Of Opinion Should Seize Opportunity Of Dialogue: J-K Govt28 February 2011
The Indian Express
Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Government said all shades of opinion in the state should seize the 'historic opportunity' thrown up by the ongoing dialogue process initiated by the Centre, noting agitation and confrontation cannot resolve differences. The state government also 'complimented' the Union Government for its recent initiatives to recommence the dialogue process with Pakistan. The Omar Abdullah government's approach to issues facing the state was outlined by Governor N N Vohra while addressing the joint session of both Houses of the state Legislature. Vora also urged all segments of society to seriously ponder over the factors which led to the 'turmoil' in summer last year when civilian unrest in the Valley claimed around 110 lives. 'People of all shades of opinion in Jammu and Kashmir should seize this historic opportunity of participating meaningfully in the ongoing dialogue for resolving all outstanding differences,' Vohra said. Opposition BJP and J and K National Panthers Party boycotted Vohra's joint address protesting the state government's 'anti-national act' of stopping BJP leaders from hoisting the tricolor at Lal Chowk in Srinagar on Republic Day. The 11 MLAs from these parties sporting the national tricolor on their chests entered the Central hall of Legislature and shouted slogans like 'Apmaan nahi sahain gay (we will not tolerate insult) and sang 'Vande Mataram' when Vohra was about to begin the joint address. They left the House after five minutes. However, the main opposition party PDP participated in the Assembly proceedings peacefully unlike last year when they had boycotted the budget 'My Government has been emphasizing the importance of the dialogue process and has welcomed the initiatives in this regard which have recently been taken by the Government of India', he said. The prolonged disturbances during summer 2010 resulted in the loss of innocent lives, large scale economic loss and most irreparable damage to education because of the prolonged closure of the entire educational system, he said. 'I convey my sincere sympathy to all those who lost their near and dear ones and urge all segments of society to seriously ponder over the factors which led to this turmoil', he said. Maintaining that the functioning of the state police and security forces personnel is being reoriented to deal with stone-pelting agitations, Vohra said security forces have been directed to 'most strictly' observe the Standing Operating Procedures while carrying out anti-terrorist operations in any part of the State. Vora said that agitation and confrontation cannot resolve issues in J and K and dialogue has been, and will always remain, the best means for seeking a solution to any contentious issue.