April 2003 News

'Healing Touch A Welcome Idea'

8 April 2003
The Asian Age

New Delhi: A parliamentary committee on Tuesday endorsed the Jammu and Kashmir government's 'healing touch' policy and said the policy, meant for providing a healing touch to the innumerable wounds inflicted by cross-border terrorism on the people, had been welcomed widely. 'It is expected to dawn a new beginning for the people who have been subjected to one of the worst kinds of terrorism witnessed in independent India. In other words, a fresh process has been initiated to build bridges between the tormented people and their elected representatives,' said the report of the parliamentary standing committee on home affairs. While fully endorsing the policy of healing touch, the committee was, however, of the view that the guard against militancy should not be allowed to lower until it is rooted out completely. The report, which was tabled on the floor of the House on Tuesday, said, 'While following such a policy, abundant caution is called for on the part of the government, especially to ensure that the morale of the security forces is not affected in any way.' The committee, headed by Congress MP Pranab Mukherjee, observed that with the installation of a newly-elected government in Jammu and Kashmir, a new ray of hope had glimmered, leading to a sense of confidence among the people that peace still had a chance in their beleaguered state. The committee has a total 43 members including Mr Kapil Sibal, Mr Ram Jethmalani, Mr Pramod Mahajan, Ms Ambika Soni, Mr P.A. Sangma, Mr Vinay Katiyar and Mr Ramji Lal Suman. About the role of Pakistan, the report said cross-border terrorism continued unabated and efforts were on by Pakistan to further intensify this 'most consistent and persistent element.'


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