M A I N   N E W S

NN Vohra gets second term as Governor of J&K
Arun Joshi
Tribune News Service

Jammu, April 27
NN Vohra, who pulled Jammu and Kashmir out of the confrontation mode during its violent years, has been reappointed as Governor of the state after the expiry of his current term on June 25. This is being seen here as an acknowledgement of his deft handling of the situation in the most critical times of the state.

A Rashtrapati Bhawan communiqué issued in New Delhi on Saturday said: “The President of India has been pleased to appoint Narinder Nath Vohra to be the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir for a fresh term on the expiry of his present term.”

Vohra joined as the first civilian Governor on June 25, 2008 -- his predecessors were mostly retired army generals -- at a time when the state was burning because of the decision of the Ghulam Nabi Azad Government to divert 100 acres of land to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board that looks after the management and affairs of the cave shrine located in south Kashmir. He steered the state out of the communal, regional and sub-regional conflagration in 2008 and paved the way for the 2008 Assembly elections, which witnessed an unprecedented turnout of 60 per cent. Vohra has been dealing with the Kashmir affairs in various capacities, including as Union Home Secretary in the early 1990s.

He was educated at Punjab and Oxford universities and served in the IAS between 1959 and 1994. He served as Principal Secretary to Prime Minister IK Gujral in 1997-98 and was a member of the National Security Advisory Board from 1998 to 2001 when the NDA government was in power. He also headed the National Task Force on internal security and co-chaired the India-European Union Round Table in 2001. In between, he also served as director of the India International Centre and was chairman of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) review committee.

For his service to the nation, Vohra was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 2007. Since February 2003 until he became the governor, Vohra had been the Indian government's interlocutor in Kashmir. He held wide-ranging discussions with both the elected representatives of the state and also the separatists in an attempt to forge common ground for the development of the state.

Ever since he was appointed the Governor, he has guided the state to come out of the most turbulent years between 2009 and 2010 when bullets and protests were the order of the day. He has contributed a lot in stabilizing the situation, which resulted in two of the best years (2011 and 2012) in over two over decades when tourism boomed in J&K. He played a crucial role in helping to defuse a potentially volatile situation in the aftermath of the execution of parliament attack convict Afzal Guru in synergy with Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

Today Amarnath yatra, a source of contention before he joined as the Governor, has regained its theme of pilgrimage of brotherhood and communal harmony.





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