Dialogue only way to pull JK out of prevailing situation: N N Vohra

Governor Narinder Nath Vohra Wednesday said the dialogue was the only way to pull State out of prevailing situation and announced holding of Urban Local Bodies (ULB) and panchayat polls.
“J&K, like other States, has also been striving to achieve its developmental goals. Our state suffers disadvantages on account of long distances from the major markets, difficult geographical and climatic conditions and inadequate connectivity,” Vohra said while addressing August 15 function at SK cricket stadium, here today.
He said in the past year, the Western neighbour attempted to infiltrate an unusually large number of militants across the International Border and Line of Control. “Our Army and police carried out effective operations and killed perhaps the largest number of militants in the past many years. The security personnel and civilian were also killed.”
He said during this year, there had been increase in attempts at infiltration across the LoC. “And till June this year there were repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistan which caused manifold sufferings for our people living in the villages along the LoC”.
Vohra said the pursuit of divisive and confrontationist approaches can never lead to resolution of any of “our problems and such approaches have only generated vested interests which have fractured our society and severely damaged our centuries-old syncretic values and traditions.”
He appeal leaders of all political parties, and to all those at the helm of various social, cultural, religious and other influential organizations, to ponder most seriously over what exactly has been gained from the endless turmoil, the continuing human and economic losses and the sufferings which our people have been undergoing in the past several decades.
“It also needs to be recognized that the activities of all those whose sole objective has been to stoke unrest have resulted only in branding our State with a negative profile which has discouraged tourism, external investments and adversely affected the economic advancement of the State,” he said.
“To pull the State, and all our people, out of the prevailing environment of suspicion, fear, distrust and growing cynicism it is of crucial importance that all the stakeholders ― whatever be their political convictions or religious ideologies ― close ranks and muster the courage to accept that our problems can be resolved only through dialogue and discussion and by making sustained sincere efforts towards promoting reconciliation and communal harmony,” Vohra said.
Stating that people in the Valley have been facing continuing difficulties and sufferings due to recurring disturbances, he said every call for a hartal affects the functioning of public delivery systems, stoppage of transport, tourism, trade and business and closure of all educational institutions.
“In brief, almost every activity comes to a halt, with consequential difficulties for the people and losses on all fronts,” he said.
The Governor said the recurring unrest had most seriously affected the academic schedules and the future careers of the youth.
“Whenever I have had the opportunity of visiting any educational institution, I have been appealing teachers, parents and the community leaders to take every possible step for protecting the interests of the younger generation. It is extremely important that the anger of our youth, from whatever reasons it may arise, must not lead to their getting involved in violent activities,” he said.
Vohra said in the past year, a number of youth, some of whom were pursuing professional studies, were influenced to pick up the gun and join groups which perpetrate violence.
“It is gratifying that some of these young men have since returned to their families,” he said and appealed community leaders to use their influence to get all the young men who have take up guns to return home and pursue their careers.
Vohra said the Urban Local Bodies and Panchayats elections have been pending for long time in the state.
“The prolonged delay in the establishment of democratically elected self-governing bodies at the grass root level in the urban and rural areas have resulted in the loss of considerable funds which would have become available if elections had been held.”
He said soon after assuming responsibility of the State, his administration had taken the required steps for organizing elections to Panchayats and Municipalities.
“Necessary amendments to the existing laws have already been made and speedy action is underway to gear-up the administrative and logistical arrangements for undertaking both these elections, scheduled to take place during September – October and the phased Panchayat polls during October -December this year.”
Vohra said the administration was also taking action to ensure that adequate funds, delegation of administrative and financial authority, deployment of the required staff and necessary logistical support is provided to the Municipalities and Panchayats, as soon as they get established.
He appealed leaders of all political parties in the State to provide full support to the administration to improve efficiency and accountability in every arena of functioning and sought their support towards engendering an environment in which the forthcoming elections to Municipalities and Panchayats produce a positive outcome
“The elections would, in turn, pave the way for the restoration of peace and normalcy and enable the State to take on bigger challenges.”
Governor, who took the reins of state government after the fall of PDP-BJP government in the state on June 19, said most of all the steady growth and advancement has suffered because of Pakistan’s continuing “proxy war” and its unceasing campaigns, for the past nearly three decades now, to “perpetrate violence and destabilize” Jammu and Kashmir.
“Elections have just concluded in Pakistan and new prime minister shall be soon taking over. I very much hope that the new leadership in Islamabad will recognize the futility of continuing with its “terrorist agenda” in J&K and accept that peace between the two countries will contribute toward the establishment of fruitful relations, growing trade, prosperity and all around mutual benefits,” he said.
He said in the past over four years, various initiatives were taken by Prime Minister, Narinder Modi to secure amicable relations with Pakistan. “However, those initiatives have not lead to any result so far.”