Indo-Pak Developments Vindicate Our Stand: Mufti
4 November 2004
The Indian Express
Srinagar: Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has said that the developments of the past few months have vindicated the stand of his government on the resolution of issues through dialogue and discourse. Addressing a press conference on the completion of the coalition governments two years in office, Mufti said that the Prime Minister is keen to address the internal dimension of the problem and the process of peace and reconciliation set in motion between India and Pakistan was moving ahead on the right track. Detailing the achievements of the government, the Chief Minister said that apart from ensuring development activities across the state, the general atmosphere has registered discernable improvement. The security forces, he said, have been given categorical instructions to avoid human rights violations and wherever such incidents have taken place, the guilty have been punished. On the developmental front, the CM said that equitable distribution of resources has been the hallmark of his government's performance. He said the PDP-led coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir has 'ensured' equitable distribution of resources among the three regions of the state, Mufti said. Equitable distribution of resources has been the hallmark of the government's performance. Not to speak of cities and towns, the development process has been taken to the remote and far- flung areas of the state, sayeed said. He said the diversification of agriculture has been given a greater thrust with the approval of Rs 100 crore horticulture technology mission by the Centre, under which new techniques of fruit preservation would be employed and new varieties introduced. The fruit industry has been exempted from excise duty and the government has introduced a market-intervention scheme to stabilise the market for the local fruit, the CM said. He said vegetables worth Rs 50 crores were currently being exported out of the valley. Kashmir brand of various milk products would be established by amul products at a cost of Rs 10 crore each at Srinagar and Jammu. On the power front, the CM said the government has succeeded in completing the financial closure of the much awaited Baghliar power project and a number of other micro power projects have been given the go ahead. The modernisation of transmission lines has beenundertaken and for the first time a Srinagar-Leh transmission line would also be laid, he said. He said the government had formulated a minimum possible power curtailment programme, especially for the holy month of Ramadan and the system had started working well but some miscreants set ablaze the mother grid station at Shariefabad and put people to great inconvenience. He said the gird station would be temporarily made functional within 6 weeks while the permanent restoration would take 4 months. Mufti said English has been introduced from the first primary and 14 new colleges are in various stages of establishment. He said four new campuses of the Kashmir and Jammu Universities have been established, where market driven and in demand courses are being introduced. On the road connectivity front, Mufti said the construction on North South corridor and other by- passes on the national highway would lessen the Srinagar-Jammu road length by 70 kilometres. He said the central governments Rs. 70 crore upgradation project for Srinagar Airport would be soon taken up which would makeit the airport of International standard. On the completion of two years of the coalition government, Mufti also released the publications of the State Information Department at SKICC auditorium including the special numbers of Kashmir Today, Tameer and Aalove. Besides, a video CD, Kamyabi Key Do Saal, prepared by the department was also released by him. The CM also inaugurated a Photo Exhibition depicting the achievements registered in various sectors during the last two years. An opera, Gashi Aager, was also staged highlighting the composite culture of Jammu and Kashmir. Mufti praised the efforts of the department in bringing about a quality change in public relations profile of the government. He said there has been a perceptible change in the situation and asked the department to disseminate the achievements of the government to the masses. Among others present on the occasion were Minister for Agriculture, Abdul Aziz Zargar, Minister for Rural Development Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed, Minister for consumer affairs Taj Mohiuddin, Minister for PHE, Qazi Mohammad Afzal, Ministers of State Ghulam Ahmad Mir and Syed Bashir, Chairman, handicrafts Development Corporation, Haji Abdur Rashid, MLAs, G M Saroori, Mohammad Khalil Bund, Mir Zahoor Ahmed, and senior government officials. Earlier, the Director Information, Farooq Ahmad Renzoo in his welcome address gave a resume of the activities of the department.