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Peace must for J&K’s progress, says Kalam
Ehsan Fazili
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, July 28
Stressing the need for restoration of peace and prosperity, the President, Dr A.P.J.Abdul Kalam, here today put forth nine-point “prosperity mission” for Jammu and Kashmir that could be undertaken on the basis of its core competence.

He said discussions on these programmes by the legislatures would enable transforming Jammu and Kashmir into a developed state by 2015 adding that these missions had the potential of making the state economically prosperous.

The President was addressing a joint session of the state legislatures at the Sher-e-Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC) overlooking the Dal lake here this afternoon. Governor, Lt-Gen (retired) S.K. Sinha, Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Chairman of the Legislative Council Abdul Rashid Dar and the Assembly Speaker Tara Chand were present on the occasion. Ministers and members from both the state legislative Assembly and legislative Council comprised the gathering.

The event was held under tight security arrangements amid a complete shutdown across the valley in response to the general strike call given by separatist organisations.

The two-day call given by hardline faction of the APHC led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani was supported by several other separatist organisations paralysing normal life across the valley.

All shops and business establishments, educational institutions and banks were closed and traffic was off the roads. There was thin attendance in other government offices. The President began his visit to the state from Ladakh region this morning and is scheduled to address the inaugural session of the diamond jubilee celebrations of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court here tomorrow.

The Governor in his remarks described the Jammu and Kashmir legislature as a symbol of self-rule and temple of democracy in the State. “The quality and degree of the self rule in Jammu and Kashmir is more than in any other state of the country”, he said on the occasion.

He complimented the treasury and Opposition Benches for preserving the democratic values, saying that the treasury Benches and opposition had maintained democratic decorum in the legislature.

In his nine-point “Mission for Jammu and Kashmir Prosperity”, the President gave a detailed account of the development in different sectors spread over 50 minutes long speech.

The missions include horticulture, education and entrepreneurship, global human resources cadre, healthcare, infrastructure development, peace mission for development, tourism, special economic zone and e-governance.

Referring to the peace mission for Jammu and Kashmir, the President said it was essential for promoting faster development, which could be achieved through four major components. He added these four components were of economic zone near the Line of Control (LoC), social development in difficult areas, state-level movement to eliminate terrorism and citizen's security. He asked the state to consider allotting the land near the LoC in disuse, on lease basis in consultation with the Army for horticulture and agriculture utilisation.

“Once, the people participate in the development of the land they themselves will oppose intervention from wrong elements”, the President stated. Referring to social development in difficult areas, Dr Kalam said social minded religious and other institutions could start educational healthcare institutions in the state.

Stressing upon the state's movement to eliminate terrorism, the President sought involvement of people for curbing terrorism and promotion of value-based education at school and college levels.

In his vote of thanks, Mr Azad said the address showed Dr Kalam's “concern for the development and prosperity of the state and love for its people”. Describing it as a hard copy for the development of Jammu and Kashmir, Mr Azad assured the President that these programmes would be discussed in the next session of the state legislature and would also be taken up by the concerned ministries and departments to transform it into reality. 




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