|Tuesday, February 29, 2000,
war, Farooq advises India, Pak
Farooq advises India, Pak
JAMMU, Feb 28 In the light of mounting tension on the Indo-Pak border following Pak shelling on Indian posts and villages in Uri, Tithwal and Rajouri during the past two days, Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah has urged both New Delhi and Islamabad to resolve differences through talks.
Replying to the debate on the motion of thanks on the Governor's address in the Legislative Council (Upper House) here today, Dr Farooq Abdullah expressed concern over the border situation. He said a war would lead to destruction and Jammu and Kashmir would suffer the most.
The Chief Minister wanted both sides to stop making tall claims and counter-claims.
He said both sides had failed in their aims and it was futile to pursue this mission as the past five decades had created severe economic and political problems in India and Pakistan.
Dr Abdullah said wars could not resolve disputes. He suggested to Pakistan to promote friendly relations with India.
Referring to the cash crunch in the state, the Chief Minister said work on various development schemes had to be suspended because of meagre flow of funds from the Centre. He said the state needed a special economic package because of the devastation caused by militancy during the past 10 years.
Regarding the demand for restoration of greater autonomy and the grant of regional autonomy, the Chief Minister said both these issues would be settled through talks. He said he had invited many political leaders to give their suggestions.
Meanwhile, the entire Opposition staged a walkout in the state assembly today in protest against the killing of five members of a community at Harni village of Mendhar sector last night. Angry members belonging to the BJP, the Congress, the Panthers Party, the Janata Dal shouted anti-Pakistan slogans in the well of the House. Some National Conference members blamed Congress members for communalising the killing of civilians.
Earlier, during the question hour members cutting across the party affiliation expressed concern over the shrinking of lakes in the Kashmir valley. A couple of NC members, including Mohd Syed Akhoon, criticised the government for its failure to check pollution and encroachment of the water bodies.
The Minister for Urban Development, Mr Ghulam Mohiuddin Shah, informed the House that because of resource crunch lake conservation programme could not be taken in hand on a major scale. He said since a new lake development body had been constituted it would consider measures for lake conservation and rehabilitation of those families that had to be removed from the lake embankments.
likely for Srinagar
SRINAGAR, Feb 28 The Department of Telecommunications is planning to provide the facilities of cellular and Sat phones to its aspiring subscribers in Srinagar city. These facilities would be provided with the commissioning of INSAT-III B.
This information was given by Dr Thomas Philip, General Manager, Telecommunications, Kashmir, here this afternoon, while releasing the telephone directory for Kashmir valley. This directory being released after a gap of six years includes the entire widespread network of telephones in the Kashmir valley that has enhanced over the past four years. The GMT said that there were also plans of installing an Internet Router in Srinagar in the near future. The Kashmir valley has over 350 Internet subscribers, Dr Thomas Philip disclosed. He, however, admitted that the Internet services are not of desired quality due to the "fact that Internet Router is located at Jammu and the server at Delhi".
Referring to the progress achieved during the past few years, in spite of militancy, Dr Philip said there were 10,000 on the waiting list in Srinagar city, adding that efforts were on to make the availability of telephones on current basis. The department had already built exchanges of over 12,000 connections capacity in Srinagar city. There has been a delay due to lack of some basic facilities including the power shortage, he said. All the subscribers waiting for new connections in Srinagar city were targetted to be provided with new connections by the end of March this year, Dr Thomaps Philip stated.
The department was
committed to connect all the villages to the telecom
network by 2002. As many as 140 villages have been
provided with VPTs (Village Panchayat Telephones) so far
and by the end of this year, the target was to cover over
200 villages, the GMT said.
Bandh hits life in valley
SRINAGAR, Feb 28 (PTI) The police used batons to disperse a group of stone-throwing youths as a general strike spearheaded by the PoK-based Hurriyat Conference disrupted normal life in the Kashmir valley today.
Shops and business houses, government and semi-government offices, banks, courts and other establishments remained closed here and other major towns of the valley in response to the bandh call to protest the killing of 14 persons at a village in PoK on February 24, allegedly by the Indian troops, a charge vehemently denied by New Delhi.
However, skeleton transport was plying on almost all routes in the valley.
The police had to use force to chase away a group of youths indulging in stone-throwing on vehicles in the Dalgate area, official sources said.
Several youths were detained after they engaged the police in brick-batting, which was aimed to force the private transport operators to join the strike, sources said, adding windscreens of several vehicles were damaged in the incident.
However, no one was injured in the clash between the police and the agitators.
No secessionist or
militant outfit had endorsed the todays strike in
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