Invoking former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra on Wednesday asserted that the PDP-BJP government would initiate the dialogue with all political groups in the state, including Hurriyat Conference, and also examine the need for denotifying disturbed areas.
“Mere economic development will not bring peace and prosperity,’’ Vohra said while addressing the first joint sitting of both the Houses of the state legislature after the formation of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed-led government. “To enlarge the constituency of peace and deepen its societal moorings, the coalition government will take well considered political initiatives,’’ he added, recalling the dialogue process initiated by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government at the Centre with all political groups, including the Hurriyat, in the spirit of “insaaniyat, Kashmiriyat aur jamhooriyat (humanity, Kashmiriyat and democracy)”.
“Following a similar approach, the coalition government will facilitate and help initiate a sustained and meaningful dialogue with all internal stakeholders, which will include all political groups irrespective of their ideological views and predilections,’’ the Governor said, adding that “this dialogue will seek to build a broad-based consensus on the resolution of all outstanding issues in Jammu and Kashmir’’.
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He also spoke of the Centre’s recent initiatives for improving relations with neighbouring countries. “This objective will be pursued by initiating suitable confidence building measures which would bring about a positive change in the lives of our people’’, he said.
The Governor referred to the progressive improvement in the security situation in the state in recent years, and said that the government was committed to ensuring the people of J&K were “fully enabled to enjoy the dividends of peace and normalcy”. In this context, he said the government would review all special laws that are currently in place in the state.
The government, Vohra said, “will examine the need for denotifying disturbed areas… (and) this in turn will enable the central government to take a final view on continuation of AFSPA in such areas.”
In an indirect reference to maintaining a status quo on Article 370, Vohra said: “The Agenda for Alliance recognises the political and legislative realities and maintenance of the existing special constitutional provisions and the status of J&K”.
MLA to Speaker: ‘Either you or Mufti lying’
Jammu: Soon after BJP legislator Kavinder Gupta was unanimously elected as Speaker of the J&K Assembly, an Opposition MLA in the House tried to corner the Mufti Mohammad Sayeed-led coalition government. Responding to Gupta’s address in which he credited people of the state for record turnout in the assembly polls, independent MLA from Langate Engineer Rashid pointed out that CM Sayeed has already credited Pakistan, militants and Hurriyat Conference for smooth elections. “Now you are saying that people of the state participated in good numbers despite terror threats. On the very first day in the House, either you are lying, or the Chief Minister has not spoken the truth. You first decide who is lying,’’ he said. ENS