On CVC, buck stops with me: PM
Jammu, March 4
“I accept my responsibility,” he said while responding to media queries here this evening before flying back to New Delhi. He was on a one-day visit to the state.
Notably, the apex court had in its verdict termed Thomas’ appointment — the Prime Minister was part of the three-member panel that made the selection — to the CVC’s post as illegal.
Asked whether or not he was misled on the appointment, the Prime Minister said he respected the Supreme Court’s judgment invalidating his (Thomas’) appointment. “I have already said that I respect the Supreme Court judgment. The highest court of the land has announced the verdict and I accept my responsibility… I think it is our responsibility to ensure that such things don’t happen in future,” he said.
On the possibility of “summer unrest” in Kashmir vis-ŕ-vis confidence-building measures initiated by the government, Manmohan Singh said all parties should try to ensure that peace and tranquility prevails in the Valley.
But, he pointed out, arbitrary arrests (of Kashmiri youths) should not take place. “It is not consistent with civilized norms… We have already asked the government to talk to all shades of opinion and take requisite measures to avoid any unrest this summer.”
In this context, Manmohan Singh also referred to a visit to the state by the all-party delegation last year and the efforts being put in by the interlocutors’ team to facilitate dialogue with all sections of the society.
On Rangarajan panel’s recommendations, he said many of them had already been implemented, which, in turn, had shown constructive results on the ground. The latest report “deals with unemployment and the panel has made certain recommendations exploring the possibilities of jobs to nearly 1.5 lakh unemployed youths in the state”, he said.
Regarding separatists who have so far refused to hold talks with the interlocutors, besides boycotting Round Table Conference in the past, the Prime Minister hoped that Hurriyat Conference would become part of the initiative to resolve the Kashmir crisis. “I have not given up hope.”
About the demands for rollback of laws like the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and the Disturbed Areas Act, he said if law and order situation improved then he saw no reason to keep them in vogue. “The Army also will be happy to perform its primary task.”
Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister addressed the third convocation of Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Jammu. There, he said India wanted to resolve all outstanding issues, including Kashmir, with Pakistan. “Our subcontinent will not realize its full development potential unless relations between India and Pakistan are normalised.”
But despite all problems, he said, India had decided to resume the dialogue process. “We will enter into talks with an open mind. We wish to resolve all outstanding issues between the two countries through friendly dialogue and constructive negotiations. And this includes the issue of Jammu and Kashmir.”
The Prime Minister said that India was willing to discuss all the issues that have a bearing on the peace, dignity and well being of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. He, however, also seized the opportunity to remind Islamabad about the Mumbai terror attack. “We can not forget what happened in Mumbai. I urge the Government of Pakistan to leave no stone unturned to bring to book perpetrators of the heinous crime… It (action against extremist groups) would be in the interest of Pakistan, subcontinent and the world at large.”
Earlier, Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra, Chancellor of SKUAST-J, urged various stakeholders to give an impetus to agriculture sector in the state. “About 72 per cent of the population is dependent on agriculture and allied activities but the yield is far below the national average. In brief, we have stagnation in the agriculture sector… We need to introduce high-yield varieties, better cooperative societies, credit system and modern farming techniques,” he said.
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