Govt to facilitate talks between Centre, separatists: CM17 March 2010
The Daily Excelsior
RAJOURI: Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah today reiterated his Government’s endeavour to facilitate talks between separatists and the Centre as also between India and Pakistan to help address all issues for amicable resolution. 'While the Government is thoroughly engaged in carrying forward its agenda of all round development, it is also working to help political engagement for restoration of permanent peace and settlement of issues across the table', he added and said that development is co-related with peace and tranquility and every stake holder has to put in its efforts in this regard. Addressing a public gathering here, Mr. Abdullah said that rehabilitation policy for the youth who have crossed over to PoK and want to return peacefully is aimed at achieving twin objectives of rehabilitating them and blocking the means for sneaking in illegally. He said it is for the first time in last 21 years that the State Government has convinced the Centre for the need of such a comprehensive policy for youth who want to return and live a peaceful life. Omar said that a resolution for this kind of rehabilitation policy was tabled by M Y Tarigami in the Legislative Assembly during the previous regime which was supported by the National Conference. 'However the resolution fell in the House due to opposition by the PDP', he added. The Chief Minister amid applauses announced that mobile schools for migratory Gujjar, Bakerwal population would be soon restored to enable them receive education without any break. 'This system introduced by the Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah had proved highly beneficial for these communities and their abundance due to militancy greatly affected the education of the children of these sections. We are actively considering to revive this system and provide opportunity to the children of Gujjar and Bakerwal to receive education and take full benefits of the reservation policy', he said. Referring to the importance of road communication for hilly and backward areas, the Chief Minister said that his Government is giving priority to this sector. 'A number of projects have been launched while many more are in the pipeline to connect remote and far off villages with main highways. Our thrust is also on inter-district and inter-provincial road projects', he added. Omar pooh-poohed PDP’s claim about Mughal Road and reminded the people of the fact that the Mughal Road project was launched by Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah and carried forward by Dr. Farooq Abdullah during his regime while Mr. Azad arranged 50 percent finance for the project. 'By the grace of God, I arranged 100 percent funds of Rs.650 crore from the Centre for the project, completed it and traveled as first Chief Minister through this road from Shopian to Buffliaz', he said adding that attributing achievements and work done by others especially by National Conference to their name has become the characteristic of PDP. The Chief Minister said the Government is focusing on all round development of all areas of the State concentrating on upliftment of hitherto left under-developed and backward pockets. 'The next year’s budget has attached special importance to the welfare of farmers and development of agriculture and allied sectors. We have reduced the tax rates on agricultural inputs to help farmers use modern farm techniques and boost their economy as well that of the State’’. Omar said as promised during the electioneering, his Government has come up with a comprehensive employment policy providing for stipend to the deserving unemployed youth and opening new vistas in the job market through Overseas Employment Corporation and strengthening the skills development programme. 'Government is contemplating to provide one lakh jobs in the Government sector to the educated people during next five years besides expanding scope for self-employment and private sector job opportunity. The Chief Minister said that National Conference and Congress share the high ideals of secularism and democracy. 'We do not believe in divisive politics nor indulge in creating wedge between various sections of the society in the name of religion, region or cast', he said adding that coalition is working in tandem to carry forward its agenda of equitable development of all areas and every section of the society without any consideration. Addressing the gathering the Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy, Dr. Farooq Abdullah said that his Ministry will help the State Government in introducing distant education in far-flung and remote areas. 'We will help the State for construction of community halls fitted with solar panels for energy trapping. This could be utilized for operating LCD TVs to impart education to the students from various headquarters. Such centres would also be used for giving training to the women in various crafts', he said and added that Jammu and Kashmir has vast potential for taking advantage of new and renewable energy sources. Urging for unity among the various sections of the society, the Union Minister recited the couplet of Dr. Iqbal 'fard kayam rabate millat se hai tanha kuch nahi, mouj hai darya main aur baruni darya kuch nahi' (The strength of an individual is in his association with the society and a wave is only strong when it is in the sea). He said that by working jointly fast track development of every section of the society can be ensured. Dr. Farooq highlighted the importance of a tunnel on Mughal Road to make it as a dependable all weather alternative to national highway. He said that the construction of Mughal Road dreamt and initiated by Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah and accomplished by Omar Abdullah has witnessed many vicissitudes and 'during my tenure I had to pursue the project at various levels in the Centre Government especially in the Ministry of Defence'. He said the road will open new means for economic welfare for the people of a vast areas from Buffliaz to Shopian. Among others the meeting was addressed by the provincial president, National Conference, Rattan Lal Gupta and Advisors to Chief Minister, Mubarak Gul and Devender Singh Rana were present.