Participate in talks for K issue, JK CM to separatists


Jammu, March 23 (Scoop News) –   Describing Interlocutors bridge of political dialogue to address Kashmir issue, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Wednesday expressed the hope that those who have not yet participated in the process would become its part soon to put forth their view points.

          “When you are openly talking about Azadi, plebiscite and even joining Pakistan, why can’t you tell the same to the Interlocutors in the dialogue process”, he questioned the separatists without naming them and added that the Interlocutors have to incorporate everybody’s view point in their report and Union Government to take a view on that.

          In his about 120 minute speech in the Legislative Assembly in reply to the two day discussion on the grants for the departments under his control, the Chief Minister emphasized the need for creating peaceful and conducive atmosphere in the State to address political issues politically.

          The Chief Minister said that the creation of the Institution of Interlocutors was a significant step to address the political issues of Jammu and Kashmir where politics forms part of the way of life and people are politically astute to know and talk about politics, but no one in the State is averse to the importance of socio-economic development. “Nobody will tell you to stop development work till the political issues are resolved”, he said and laid stress on attending both aspects simultaneously.

          “It is for this fact I emphasized the need for political resolution of Kashmir issue while thanking the Centre Government for the economic packages and financial help for the development of the State time and again”, he added.

          Omar Abdullah said that to work out amicable solution to the issues, conducive and peaceful atmosphere is imperative. “When there is law and order situation you cannot concentrate on the issues requiring thorough attention”, he said and referred to the 4 months long disturbances in the Valley during last summer adding that from the 2008 Amarnath land row we have witnessed three consecutive summer law and order situations in the Valley hampering the efforts aimed at economic development and dialogue process.

          “Give me a peaceful summer this year and see the positive results on both fronts”, he said and underlined the need for working jointly to maintain peace and tranquility in the State ensuring peaceful and happy summer this year. “Don’t create any fear psychosis among the tourists by creating perception about coming June. Let us work together cutting across the party lines for creating pleasant June 2011 and onwards to receive large number of visitors and make good the economic and education losses, we have suffered during last three summer seasons in the Valley”, he maintained.

          Omar Abdullah reminded the BJP of the speech delivered by the then Prime Minister of India,  Atal Bihari Vajpayee on 15th August from the Red Fort when he had said that the mistakes regarding Jammu and Kashmir would not be repeated and its solution would be sought under the ambit of humanism. “We have to work and seek solution to the issue under this spirit”, he said and referred to the resumption of talks between India and Pakistan describing it a positive sign.

          “When the relations between the two neighbours are good, Jammu and Kashmir reaps its dividends in the shape of peace and economic activities and when these are sour, we have to face the brunt”, he said and expressed the hope that the dialogue between the two countries will move on positively. “Indo-Pak dialogue process is an international matter and State Government has little to take credit about it though necessary inputs are being taken from us in this regard, he impliedly referred to the assertion of PDP that they initiate the Indo-Pak dialogue in their tenure”.

          On the report of Amnesty International, Omar Abdullah said that the report would be given due consideration and suggestions made viewed seriously. “The report will not be thrown to the dust bin. We will study it thoroughly and consider the suggestions incorporated in the report pertaining to Public Safety Act (PSA) and other issues”, he said adding that time has come when PSA should be debated upon for its amendment or replacement by some other relatively better law.

          Omar also dispelled the perception being created regarding arrests in the Valley and said that during the last summer in 1153 violence incidents some 4000 persons had been arrested of which only 171 are presently in custody while rest have been released. “There are only 128 persons in custody under PSA at present”, he added.

          Reiterating the importance of peace for revocation of DAA, AFSPA and other such laws, the Chief Minister said that the Government had started working on these issues and on the issue of reducing footprints of security forces in the Valley, but disturbance of peace and law and order hampered our effort. “Some two battalions of CRPF and armed forces have been withdrawn besides dismantling 39 bunkers”, he added and said that the normalcy was imperative to address all issues and Government would take every measure to restrict the re-start of any law and order situation in the Valley.

          Taking a dig on the healing touch policy propagated by the PDP during their tenure in Government, Omar Abdullah said, “blacklisting of passports, Ikhwanis, task force, SOGs, etc were kept live only changing the nomenclature of some of these”, he said and read out the Government Order issued by the then Mufti-led Government changing the name of task force, etc. “I have received this legacy from you and police reforms by my Government are in the offing”, he said and declared vehemently that his Government would never allow Ikhwanis or other such elements to re-surface under any circumstance.

          Omar Abdullah said that his Government is working out a module for police reforms and the same will be put to public domain for suggestions and response. “I have asked the concerned to place it on the website for general public to comment”, he said.

          On rehabilitation policy, the Chief Minister said that the PDP when in power opposed the resolution to this effect brought in by M. Y. Tarigami in Legislative Assembly and National Conference voted for it while in opposition. “Now, we have worked out a policy with the Centre Government in this regard where under some 600 families have submitted their applications and the cases for 25 are under process of approval and rest are under various stages of consideration”, he said.

          On police employment rallies, the Chief Minister said that such rallies will be held in those areas which are under represented adding that for last 20 years no such rally was held in Srinagar. He said that such rallies would be held irrespective of any consideration, simply for engaging the deserving candidates from the areas left so far under represented, whether it will be Wachi, Bijbehara, Jammu-East, Jammu-West or some other area. However, the Chief Minister referred to the political adventurism by the then PDP-Government in distribution of SRO job orders to the beneficiaries at public meetings requesting Central leaders like Prime Minister and UPA Chairperson and even President of India for distribution of these job orders even though these orders had been prepared and approved by the Dr. Farooq-led National Conference Government and concerned Deputy Commissioners asked to distribute the orders which they could not do for 2002-Assembly Elections.

          On development, the Chief Minister said that justice to all is the basis of his governance and equitable development of all the three regions and sub-regions irrespective of creed, caste, religion, region or vote is his benchmark in the development process. “There should not be even an iota of doubt or perception regarding the allocation of funds and launch of development process in the State about the Government in this regard. All areas and people are equally important dear to me and development funds are allotted to the areas as per requirements and availability”, he asserted.

          Omar Abdullah referred to Rs. 6,000 crore State Plan for the current year and Rs. 1,200 crore under PMRP approved by the Centre Government. He and said that barring certain Central projects being executed by Central Agencies the spending and the work done under PMRP has been more or less up to the mark. The left out works would be completed during the next financial year, he said giving details of works completed and under completion in various sectors.

          On the allotment of additionalities to the districts, the Chief Minister said that he has allotted Rs. 116 crore additional funds to clear the liabilities created by previous governments besides accommodating recommendations of legislators to the tune of Rs. 92 crores and providing Rs. 44 crores for power transformers besides earmarking Rs. 10 crore for CT Scans in Government Hospitals in the districts.

          On electric supply, the Chief Minister said that the peak demand at present in the State is 2500 MWs while the registered load is only 1640 MWs and rest is leakage and theft. He said the generation at present is 1500 MWs in the State during summer months while it reduces to 1000 MWs in winter and the demand is likely to be 4000 MWs by the 2020. “We have to work out for improving indigenous power generation and in this connection three joint ventures with NHPC and 680 MW Ratle Hydle project are in offing”, he said and called for payment of electricity charges by all the consumers in consonance with the consumptions they make.

          Omar Abdullah said that as an innovative measure his Government has passed a Bill in the Legislature to make Jammu and Kashmir owners of its waters legally and charge the companies utilizing it for generation of power. “Himachal Pradesh, Uttranchal and other States have approached us to share this piece of legislation with them so that they could also enact legislations accordingly”, told the House.

          On Sawalakot, the Chief Minister said that interaction at official level with the concerned consortium is on to arrive at some price level which shall be then preferred to Central Electricity Authority of India for approval and if it approves the cost, the matter would be placed before the Cabinet for final approval. He pooh-poohed the perception floated by the leader of largest opposition party in the Assembly regarding the commission whatsoever kind being offered by the power companies. “We are unknown of any such commission and if it has happened in the past the leader of largest opposition party (Mehbooba Mufti) could herself explain how they calculated the quantum of commission offered to them by the company when PDP was in power and how they equated it equal to the construction of four small power projects”, questioned PDP leader and challenged her to name the Member of the House possessing watch worth Rs. 50 lakhs and a car costing Rs. 1.50 crore. (Mehbooba Ji in her speech yesterday in the House talked about the offer of commission made to the then Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed by the power company saying that Mufti Sahib asked them to construct four mini-power projects instead of paying the commission to him).

          Omar Abdulllah requested the Speaker to ask the leader of the largest opposition party to divulge the names of those Members he hinted about in the Assembly during his speech, if not in the House for lack of courage, then in the private to the Speaker himself so that the matter is looked into seriously.

          On the progress on R&B front, the Chief Minister said that 97 bridges have been constructed in the State during last year while 103 bridges are being constructed this year. “We are taking up works worth Rs. 125 crores under CRF this year as against Rs. 92 crores last year”, he said and thanked the Centre Government for providing required assistance for the completion of Mughal Road which has integrated social and economic bonds between various districts. He also said that the State Government is working with Centre Government for approval of various tunnels to connect the districts and areas for easy access and all round development.

          Omar Abdullah said that the Centre Government is also persuaded with Centre the State proposals for launch of helicopter service for the inaccessible and cut-off areas on the pattern of North-East States and Himachal Pradesh.

          The Chief Minister referred to the steps taken by his Government to bringing transparency in the transaction of Government functioning and delivery of public service. “I have already initiated e-tendering in PMGSY which shall be in operation from the April 2011. We have also placed State Chief Information Commissioner and the two State Information Commissioners are being placed soon. We are also introducing a Bill to bring public delivery system under its ambit so that responsibility for delay in the delivery of service by any Government functionary is fixed for punishment”, he said giving details of various measures taken by the Government for creating good work culture and curbing the corruption.

          The House later passed the grants unanimously.

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