Reiterating importance of sustained Indo-Pak dialogue, Jammu and Kashmir National Conference President and former Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah has said the bitterness and hostilities of the past should not be allowed to hover over future of generations as a dark shadow.
“Indo-Pak people have right to lead dignified, peaceful and prosperous life, which entails peace on the borders and spirit of good neighbourly relations between the two countries”, Dr Abdullah said while winding up four-day tour of border Poonch and Rajouri districts. Dr. Abdullah asked leadership of both the countries to rise to the occasion and make a new beginning in heralding peace and harmony in the sub-continent.
He addressed a largely attended workers meeting in Poonch town and recalled the traumatized border shelling over the years, last year particularly, leading people to live life of insecurity. He said perpetual fear and element of uncertainty were detrimental to overall growth of those residing on borders. He said damages caused to life and property continues to haunt the people, who are yearning for peace and tranquility.
Dr.Farooq Abdullah said the border dwellers had benefited from dividends of ceasefire agreement arrived during the tenure of Atal Behari Vajpayee as Prime Minister and hoped that spirit be a guiding force in normalising relations between India and Pakistan. He said the people of Jammu and Kashmir will be main beneficiaries of such a bold initiative.
Responding to the concern of border dwellers over their land holdings remaining uncultivated due to border fencing, the former Chief Minister urged the army to find out a mechanism so that farmers are able to cultivate their lands for sustenance. He also stressed need for immediate disbursement of compensation to those whose properties were damaged due to border shelling besides incessant rains and flash flood of 2014.
Dr. Farooq lauded the valour of border people for braving brunt of hostilities and expressed solidarity of National Conference with them. He urged the party cadre to reach out to those who have suffered and seek redressal of their problems at appropriate levels. Stressing the need for maintaining brotherhood, especially in the wake of orchestrated campaign unleashed by divisive forces to disturb communal harmony for their petty political interests, National Conference President said that a befitting reply to them would be further strengthening religious and regional unity.
Speaking on the occasion, Provincial Youth National Conference President Ajaz Jan expressed anguish over developmental and administrative inertia of the PDP-BJP coalition, saying this has impacted the people in terms of dilapidated road network, erratic power and water supply besides scarcity of rations at the depots. Jan sought immediate rollback of National Food Security Act and provision of solar lights to the targeted segments of society.
Additional General Secretary Dr Sheikh Mustafa Kamal, State Vice Presidents Mushtaq Ahmed Shah Bukhari and Rattan Lal Gupta besides MLA Javed Rana also addressed the workers and stressed the need for further rejuvenating the party at grass root level. District functionaries of National Conference were present on the occasion.