Monday, August 25, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Mufti for opening of border posts at Uri, Suchatgarh

Anantnag, August 24
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed urged India and Pakistan to allow opening of border posts, like the one at Wagah, at Uri and Suchatgarh to facilitate bonding between separated families from either side of the border.

The Chief Minister referred to the improving ties between India and Pakistan, while addressing a public meeting at Khanabal in South Kashmir last evening after laying the foundation stone of Rs 200 crore four-laning of Khanabal-Chandanwari road. He said the people of the state had suffered due to the confrontation between the two neighbours.

“But now when the people of both the countries are paying visits to either side, why cannot people of the state visit their relatives across the border,’’ he asked.

He asked why could not the Centre and Pakistan agree to open border posts in Jammu and Kashmir so that the families divided for the past 50 years could visit each other.

The Mufti said vested interests within and outside were the main obstruction in the peace process.

The Mufti said while efforts were afoot to resolve the Kashmir issue, “We cannot sit idle and keep waiting for the outcome of dialogue’’. “We want to accelerate the economic development of the state and address people’s problems.’’

He said his government had initiated measures, which were bound to yield results, as the peace process was complicated and time consuming. However, he advised the people to be patient and give his government a chance to deliver.

He announced that the Jammu and Kashmir Government would launch an employment package under which 100,000 jobs would be created for the youth in the state in two years.

He said the PDP-Congress government had generated employment in engineering, poultry and education sectors. Contract appointment policy had been evolved to engage the youth on contract basis against some critical vacancies, he added.

The Chief Minister said a social security scheme for marginal workers was being launched while English had been introduced in primary and pre-primary classes in government-run schools.

Describing the role of coalition government as historic in Jammu and Kashmir, Agriculture Minister Abdul Aziz Zargar said the government was working for peace with dignity in line with the people’s aspirations.

He said the government had launched a new phase of socio-economic development to provide relief to the people. These included exemption of toll tax on fruits and waiver of Rs 165 crore interest accrued on cooperative loans for marginal farmers.

The Chief Minister also said the PDP-Congress coalition government in the state would ensure equitable development of all districts and no region would feel neglected during his rule.

Dedicating the redeveloped Wazir Bagh as ‘Gulistan’, alongwith Kashmir valley’s first amusement park to the people of Anantnag here last evening, the Chief Minister announced several projects for the district and said that all districts of the state would get similar facilities in due course of time.

Sher Bagh in Anantnag would also be developed on the lines of Wazir Bagh to improve the environment of the town, the high school there would be relocated in ITI complex and the premises of the school would be merged with the Sher Bagh to expand its area, he said.

Mr Sayeed said Anantnag would have a new district hospital for which suitable land was being identified. Anantnag-Achhabal road would be upgraded to a four-lane road. All local roads, from where people have voluntarily removed encroachments, would be black topped.

The Anantnag college, where postgraduate course in English was started, would also have MCA and postgraduate course in chemistry. The Vice-Chancellor was sent to the college to check its condition himself.

The South Kashmir University campus was also being established in Anantnag for which land was being identified, he said.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Muzaffar Hussain Baig said under the matured leadership of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, the discernable change that had set in, was taking place step by step and the coalition government is painting a beautiful roadmap that would ensure peace, development and justice for all.

Earlier, Mr Baig inaugurated ATM facility and refurbished computerised branch premises of the Jammu and Kashmir Bank at Anantnag.

Minister for Rural Development Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed called upon the Jammu and Kashmir Bank authorities to provide liberal credit facilities to unemployed youth for setting up self-employment ventures and help the state in tackling unemployment.

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