New Delhi, August 25
A Minority Affairs Ministry team will visit the Kashmir valley for two days from Tuesday to identify areas to implement centrally-sponsored development projects after provisions of Article 370 were abrogated, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has said.
He asserted that those opposing the government’s withdrawal of J&K’s special status, acting as per their “political prejudice”, would also come around to support the move after seeing its impact. “A team of senior officials, including the Secretary, will be visiting the area (Kashmir valley) on August 27-28. The team will explore development possibilities — where schools, colleges, skill development centres can be opened,” Naqvi said in an interview.
The minister also said “precautions” taken in J&K were targeted at a “handful of separatists” who could mislead the people. “It is the job of a responsible government not to allow any misinformation campaign to be run,” he said. Naqvi said the team would visit Jammu and Ladakh at a later date. Asked if people of the Kashmir valley were supportive of the government move, the minister claimed that they were “absolutely supportive”. He said the Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK) would now be applicable in all areas of J&K and Ladakh.
The PMJVK is a centrally-sponsored scheme that seeks to improve the development of minority concentration areas through creation of socio-economic infrastructure, provision of basic amenities, and other measures.
“Some Opposition friends” had hoped that the country would be “set ablaze” with the Article 370 move, but the opposite happened, and the move was welcomed. On Congress leaders expressing divergent views, some expressing support for the government’s move and others opposing it, Naqvi said “those who know Kashmir, its ground reality and don’t think with a politically prejudiced mind, are favouring the move.”
Region to benefit
Now the ministry will be active in the entire region — Leh, Ladakh, Kargil, Jammu and Kashmir. We will make efforts to set up schools colleges, polytechnics, engineering colleges and hospitals. —Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Union minister
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