Statesmanship Needed To Resolve Kashmir: Omar

Statesmanship Needed To Resolve Kashmir: Omar

28 February 2012
Greater Kashmir


Jammu: Underlining the complexity in addressing political issues of Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, according to an official handout, Tuesday said the State Legislature alone cannot workout a solution adding the Centre has a definite role in this regard. “When there are parts of Jammu and Kashmir under the occupation of Pakistan and China, we have to look for a comprehensive strategy to address the issue amicably and peacefully”, he said seeking support of all stakeholders for resolution of the issue. “On this floor of House I am on record to commit 10 steps forward towards main opposition (PDP) if it rises above politics and moves one step forward sincerely towards me to help address the political issue of Jammu and Kashmir”, he said highlighting the need of exhibiting the approach of a statesman towards this problem instead of behaving like a politician. Winding up the discussion on Governor’s address in Legislative Assembly, the Chief Minister said the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight. “We have to move out of the tunnel”, he said underscoring the importance of emancipation and statesmanship approach to address the issue. “During the Round Table Conference I told the Prime Minister that a politician has eye only on next election while the statesman looks towards next generation”, he said and impressed upon all the stakeholders to exhibit statesmanship spirit towards political issue of Jammu and Kashmir. Ridiculing what he called the double-standards of PDP with regard to the boycott of proceedings of the House, the Chief Minister said the PDP forgot about the media when its members and party leaders were making speeches in the House yesterday but today pretending to be supporting press its members remained away from the House. “Had they shown same sympathy with the press yesterday and denied to speak in the House, we would have considered it a value based politics but they exhibited double-standards about the issue”, he added and said that PDP prefers to listen the replies of their unfounded and false allegations while sitting in front of the monitors telecasting the proceedings of the House instead of doing same in the House. Omar castigated PDP for indulging in mud-slugging and creating hype “by speaking unabated lies” with the intension to create an impression in the minds of people that their concocted tales are true. He said people are wise enough to understand this tactics. “Character assassination, mud-slugging, personal vendetta and falsehood may be PDP’s characteristics, but I believe that God sees the truth but waits. I have not learnt to throw mud and relay on false propaganda otherwise there is lot of material before me to expose the commissions and omissions this party and its leadership”, he said adding that the time will itself testify my position and my actions. He said that only those indulge in the tactics of personal attacks and baseless allegations who have no issue to talk about. “We are not afraid of the propagandist approach and unfounded allegations. We have withstood such attacks in the past and have come clean of all allegations leveled against us”, he said asserting that those who indulge in this practice will again eat the humble pie in future. On revocation of AFSPA, Omar said his efforts in this direction would continue assuring that this will become a reality during his tenure. “When I advocated gradual revocation of AFSPA from some areas of the State and was busy in talks with the Prime Minister, other Union leadership and Army, the PDP tried to scuttle my mission by making statements that I should move on this issue only after Army permits me to do so. The party did this only for political reasons. It didn’t want the coalition government to take credit for the initiative and played with the sentiments of the people”, he said adding that his advocacy for gradual revocation of AFSPA from some parts of the State where militancy has died down and army has no role to play will continue as it possesses logical reason. “I would continue to work for it”, he added. Omar also referred to the approach of PDP towards the rehabilitation policy and said that this party opposed the initiative moved by MY Tarigami in the Legislative Assembly and supported by National Conference. “At that point in time this party also feared that the credit for it will go to National Conference and Tarigami, as such, opposed it on political reasons”. The Chief Minister said the improvement in law and order during the last three years is visible on ground. He substantiated his view point by giving the facts and figures on this count. He said that the militancy related incidents in 2009 were 385, civilian killings 71, police personnel killings 13, security forces killings 52 while in 2010 the militancy related incidents were 268, civilian killings 47, police personnel killings 15, security forces killings 49. He said during the year 2011 the militancy related incidents were 192, civilian killed 30, police personnel killed 13 and security forces killed 18. Omar said that the foot prints of security forces are being reduced. “As many as three CRPF battalions have been delinked, 39 security bunkers removed in Srinagar city, 52 buildings vacated from forces occupation and 15 more bunkers have been identified in Srinagar city for removal”, he said adding that zero tolerance against human rights violation is the commitment of the Centre as well as State Governments. The Chief Minister said that attempts were made during last year to disrupt the peace but credit goes to people who denied the vested interests to fall in their net. He referred the PDP’s camping in Kulgam on the occasion of false allegation regarding the molestation of two women. “They camped there to vitiate the situation and put the law and order situation on fire, but credit goes to people who did not listen to be lead-astray on rumours”, he said. The Chief Minister also took a dig on PDP on passport issue and said that during their so called healing touch tenure, the passports to the relatives of the militants were denied at all. “We have reversed this policy and the relatives of the militants who are not involved in any militancy related activities are open to get passports like others”, he said maintaining that Haj pilgrims are receiving priority in getting passport. “We are also trying to clear the pending cases of passports accumulated during previous years”. On the achievements registered by the government during last three years, Omar said that the peaceful 2011 has provided opportunity to the government to carry forward development to every area. “We are making capital expenditure of about Rs. 8500 crores in the State reaching out to every corner and area on development front”, he said expressing gratitude to the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi for extending support to his Government which in turn is support to the State. He expressed the hope that Central Government would continue its this help to the State in future. The Chief Minster said that peaceful 2011 has also paid dividend in the form of successful tourist season, more than one crore yatris visited Mata Vaishno Devi, 6.37 Shri Amarnath and 13 lakh visitors visited the Valley. Expecting more productive tourist season this year, Omar Abdullah stressed on the airlines not to inflate air fare during the season and called upon the Union Government to ensure additional flights and increased operational hours at the Srinagar Airport. He also asked the hoteliers, transporters, boatmen and others associated with tourist trade to treat the tourist with best curtseys and charge reasonable rates. He said Germany has withdrawn the tour advisory regarding Jammu and Kashmir and it is hoped that Britain and other countries would follow the suit. On empowerment of people, Omar referred to the holding of Panchayat elections. He said PDP even opposed this initiative and circulated different rumors regarding the establishment of Panchayat Raj in the State. “My Government has succeeded in establishing Panchayat institutions, we have transferred powers and finances to these grass root level democratic institutions”, he said informing that the government has recently provided Rs. 41 lakhs to these institutions as untied grants. He said in the coming budget the Finance Minister would elaborate the measures to be taken to extent further funds to these institutions. On corruption, the Chief Minister said that the initiatives taken by his Government to curb corruption and bring in transparency are glaring and fully visible on ground. He mentioned the enactment of Public Service Guarantee Act adding that Anna Hazare is threatening hunger strike for similar legislation at the Central level. “Ours is the Vanguard State in the Country to enact such an historic legislation which empowers people to get public service delivery within the prescribed time limit. 50 services of 6 departments have been brought under this Act and services of Home Department like issuance of FIR copy and CID report regarding passport will be also brought under its ambit besides other services”, he said and also referred to the strengthening of State Accountability Commission and constitution of State Information Commission. He said the constitution of State Vigilance Commission is on cards and the guidelines issues by Supreme Court in P. J. Thomes case are being incorporated while initiating the process of appointments of CVC-VCs. He also referred to the comprehensive transfer policy put in place, e-tendering and e-procurement introduced in various departments like PMGSY, R&B, Housing, PDC, PDD, etc to enhance transparency and restrict chances of corruption. On employment, Omar Abdullah said that 41000 youth have been absorbed in government service during the last three years while 32000 have been brought under Voluntary Service Allowances scheme. He said Rs. 60 crore have been paid as seed money under SKEWPY to the youth to launch their self-employment ventures. He also mentioned the Himayat and Udaan schemes to train people and increase their skills for job opportunities. He said 25000 students are being provided scholarships to attain higher education. Omar Abdullah also mentioned establishment of Central Universities, 23 new Degree Colleges, 18 Polytechnics and scores of ITIs to enhance the accessibility of higher and technical education to the students all across the State. The Chief Minister also mentioned achievements registered under SSA and RMSA in school education sector adding that 279 middle schools have been upgraded to high schools raising the total number of high schools in the State are 1697. He said Institute of Mass Communication in Jammu and Institution for Fashion Technology in Srinagar is in the pipeline. On communication sector, Omar Abdullah said that 45 bridges and 26 new roads have been constructed during the last year while 2540 kilometres of roads have been macadamized and 1911 kilometres upgraded. He said work on 4 road stretches on 4-laning of National Highway project has commenced and the two tunnels at Nashri and Banihal are also under construction by NHAI. He said work on Zozila, Z Gali, Chattergala, Singpora and Bandipora-Lolab are on cards. He said the rail service between Baramulla and Banihal is likely to commence by the end of this year. Omar Abdullah also talked about the payment of Rs. 917 crore 6th Pay Commission arrears to the government employees, regularization of 10+2 lecturers, headmasters, Rehbar-e-Zirat, Rehbar-e-Taleem and others. He said the State Government has to bear Rs. 13500 crores on salaries of government employees, Rs. 2000 crores on payment of pension besides incurring over Rs. 2000 crore losses on supply of electricity when the total revenue realization by all means in the State is Rs. 6500 crores. He referred to the new employment policy and said that it was aimed at providing more employment to the unemployed youth in government sector but politics has marred this opportunity created by the government. Later, the House passed the resolution of extending thanks to the Governor for delivering speech to both the Houses of the legislature assembled jointly. The Chief Minister made similar speech in the Upper House in the evening.