Hurriyat responsible for Kashmiri’s miseries, says Sagar
14 May 2001
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: Minister for Agriculture and Cooperatives, Ch Mohammad Ramzan has criticized Hurriyat leaders for not responding positively to the Centre’s offer of talks for restoration of peace in the State. Addressing a public meeting at Marwal in Pulwama district today, Ch Ramzan said that Hurriyat is a divided lot having no representative character. He said while some leaders of the conference are interested in talks, the others are opposed to it. ‘Those who cannot provide a collective leadership how can they rule the State,’ the Minister asked. The Minister said if Hurriyat is sincere in restoration of peace in Kashmir, it should avail the opportunity provided by the Centre for holding unconditional talks with all groups in the State. He said the Hurriyat leaders who are acting at the behest of their mentors from across the border are interested in continuation of blood shed in the State. "Much blood has been spilled during the last 11 years and the National Conference Government led by Dr Farooq Abdullah would not allow to more bloodshed," he said and added that Government has vowed to eliminate militancy from the State and would not hesitate to offer any sacrifice for restoration of complete peace and normalcy. Ch Ramzan asked the Centre to provide liberal financial assistance to the State for rebuilding the damaged infrastructure and reviving developmental activities which received a great set back due to turmoil and inadequate funding from the Centre. The Minister listed the progress registered by the State in various fields during the last four years and said the commitment for holding Panchayat elections has been fulfilled. The elections to the cooperative bodies are being held during the current month. He asked the people to elect honest and dedicated people to the cooperative institutions. The Minister announced that the work on 4th stage of Marwal Command Area Development Project involving cost of Rs 1.50 crore would start from next month. The project envisages reclaiming 638 hectares of additional agricultural land in command area. Similarly, the work on the ambitious drainage scheme, which would provide irrigation facilities to 7100 hectares of land in command area is also being taken from next month. The project costing Rs 1.50 crore would be completed in three years. He said Marwal Stage Third completed at a cost of Rs 7.29 crore has helped to reclaim 6480 hectares of un-irrigated land in command area thereby increasing the productivity in the command areas. Referring to the Noval Scheme of providing Kisan Credit Cards to the agriculturists, the Minister said that 200 such cards have been issued to the farmers in all the six blocks of Pulwama districts each during the current year. Under the programme, he said the agriculturists can draw loans from Rs. 5000 to 50,000 from various banks for purchase of agriculture inputs, seeds, fertilizers and other agriculture implements. He said the entire farming community in the State would be provided these cards within next three years. Addressing the meeting, the Works Minister, Mr Ali Mohammad Sagar accused the Hurriyat Conference leaders of exploiting the poor Kashmiris in the name of religion. He said the Kashmiri youth are getting killed everyday at the behest of the Hurriyat leaders while their own sons are enjoying luxurious lives in and outside the country. Mr Sagar said that the youth were misled by their mentors leading to huge loss of human lives. He said 70,000 Kashmiris have been killed during the 11 years of turmoil and the time has now come when the people should differentiate between their friends and foes to bring the State out of the ongoing turmoil. Mr Sagar said militants wreck havoc with the State’s infrastructure and hundreds of bridges and school buildings were raised to rubble during the militancy. He said the National Conference Government had a great challenge ahead when it came to power in 1996. "We accepted the challenge and started the re-construction of the damaged infrastructure with determination", he said, adding that 850 school buildings and around 500 bridges were reconstructed during the last four years. "Amid blasts, grenades and firing, the Government agencies kept the developmental works going to provide better infrastructural facilities to the people", the Minister added. He said hundreds of schools in the far-flung areas of the State were made operational with the appointment of teachers under Rehbar-I- Taleem scheme. Referring to district Pulwama, Mr Sagar that it was worst affected with militancy and besides killing several NC leaders, militants destroyed the maximum public property in the area. The Minister said under its efforts to rebuild the damaged infrastructure, the Government has restored 15 major and 23 minor bridges in the district at a cost of Rs 10.5 crore. Responding to the demands of the residents of Marwal and adjoining areas, the Minister said that a filtration plant would be installed in the area within one month to provide safe potable water to the people. He said Rs 25 crore are being spent on modernization of Marwal Lift Irrigation Scheme, which will provide irrigation facilities to 218 acres of land in the area. The MLA, Pampore, Mr Mushtaq Ahmad Kuchay also addressed the gathering.