February 2004 News

Mufti convenes UHQ meet, vows to check HR violations

29 February 2004
The Daily Excelsior
Daily Excelsior Correspondent

Jammu: Regretting some incidents of human rights abuses taken place during coalition government’s rule despite unambiguous instructions, Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed today said that he has convened a meeting of Unified Headquarters to again discuss this issue and decide further measures to prevent these. 'With all powers at my command, I will make sincere endeavours to ensure that no human rights violation takes place at the hands of the security forces and the police while dealing with militancy', Mr Sayeed said at a function organised to distribute relief cheques to ponywalas under the Prime minister’s package here today. The Chief Minister said that immediately after taking over the reigns of administration, he had made it clear to all wings of the security forces that human rights violations would not be acceptable to the Government. He said there has been positive response of the security forces in exercising restraint that had good impact on the over all situation but still some bad incidents have taken place like at Bandipore and Tral which make us sad. Assuring the people that anybody found responsible for human rights abuses would face action, Mufti Sayeed said action against guilty personnel would be made transparent as well, adding that he has never been enamoured of chair and would never compromise the dignity of the people of the state. ‘My only dream is to see the people of Jammu and Kashmir prosperous in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility that once was the shining icon of the State’. The Chief Minister dwelt on his efforts to restore peace in the State with the help of the people and said ‘I do not want peace of graveyard in Kashmir but of dignity’. He said it is the coalition government’s effort to restore honour and dignity of the people of the State and also restore peace. While the coalition government’s initiatives have discernible impact on the situation but the real credit goes to the people of the State to bring a turn around in the situation. ‘You trusted us by voting us to power and we made sincere effort in this direction’, he said, adding that Amal Ka Daromadar Niyat Par Hota Hai. He said it has been an article of faith with his party before and after Assembly elections that the gun, be it of the Government or militants, cannot solve any problem. He complimented Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee for his statesmanship and political maturity and said that he understood our feelings and opened a new chapter of peace and friendship from Kashmir on April 18 last year. Since then there has been opening of many channels between India and Pakistan and today opening of Uri-Muzaffarabad road has become almost a reality. He said he is not using it as a political gimmick for election purposes, adding that we raised this issue before elections and pursued it with the Prime Minister after coming to power almost in every meeting and succeeded in putting across our view point. It was not the case with others who won 1977 elections on the issue of Rawalpindi road but forgot it conveniently after they came to power, he added. The Chief Minister also spoke about the high level dialogue taking place between the Deputy Prime Minister and Hurriyat and said that he is conscious of the emotions of gun-totting youth and do not want to join issue with them. But the fact remains that there is no justification for holding gun in the present atmosphere. He asked ‘where is the logic, when India and Pakistan have started normalising their relations and resolving bilateral issues including Kashmir; when Government of India has started talking with separatists and other groups to find amicable solution; when peace is in sight. And still they want to spill blood in the State, why and what for’. He said such opportunities do not come again and again and history does not repeat at anybody’s convenience. The Chief Minister said that road to peace has generated many expectations and hopes of the people of the State who are bleeding for the past 15 years but some elements were creating impediments for vested interest. He, however, said that the process of peace has its own momentum and nobody can stop it. Speaking on the occasion, Tourism Minister Ghulam Hassan Mir said that when they came to Pahalgam during last elections, the people were concerned about their security but today there is a sense of security and demand for roads, schools, transformers, playfields, jobs, etc. The focus has shifted to economic issues that cast a greater responsibility on the government to fulfill people’s expectations. The Minister said that the coalition Government during its rule has facilitated the process of dialogue. He said India and Pakistan have started talking to normalise relations and things are looking up in the sub-continent. He said some elements, which do not want peace to return, are getting nervous and bent upon to disturb the peace process. He, however, said that they would not be allowed to succeed. PDP president and local MLA, Ms Mehbooba Mufti also spoke on the occasion. Youth Forum Pahalgam thanked the Chief Minister for provision of playfield at the tourist resort, which has fulfilled the long pending demand of the people of the areas.


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