National Conference President Dr Farooq Abdullah on Sunday reiterated the crucial need for sustained and meaningful dialogue between India and Pakistan, saying this is imperative for lasting peace, especially for better living conditions of border dwellers in both the countries.
“Border people will be immediate beneficiaries of normalization of relations between the two neighbours”, Dr Abdullah said while recalling the colossal damage caused to life and property in the villages along Line of Control and International Border over a year ago. NC President was addressing workers at the border town of Sunderbani this morning.
He said border people have been braving brunt of hostilities and now, “let us work towards bringing cheer in their lives by fostering good relations”. He hoped Pakistan will positively respond to the situation and help in creating congenial atmosphere for taking forward the peace process. He said the two countries have no option but to talk in the larger interest of peace and freeing the people from shackles of hatred and mistrust.
“Peace and friendly relations between India and Pakistan will enhance the quality of life of millions, who have paid dearly due to decades long suspicion and hostilities over the years. National Conference President cautioned that peace and normalcy in the region will remain a distant dream as long as the two neighbours won’t sort out issues in friendly atmosphere. He said the people of Jammu and Kashmir have always remained at the receiving end whenever borders turned hot and referred to loss of human life along Line of Control early last year due to unprovoked shelling from across the border.
Dr Farooq Abdullah also dwelt on local problems and expressed anguish over delay in compensation to the rain and flood sufferers of 2014 besides those whose houses were damaged due to shelling in the border districts. He said the government cannot abdicate its responsibilities towards the rehabilitation and well being of suffering people.
Interacting with a delegation of striking PHE daily, seasonal, need-based and other workers, National Conference President expressed solidarity with them and said the government must understand their plight as regularization is directly concerned with their career and future. He said National Conference appreciates the agonies and miseries of workers, who are feeling hard pressed to support their families and sought their regularization.
Dr Farooq Abdullah exhorted the cadre to further reactivate the party at grass roots level and prepare in a big way for Urban Local Bodies and Panchayat elections. He said empowerment of people at the basic level democratic institutions is imperative for decision making. “National Conference has all along strived for decentralization of powers”, he said and referred to the single line administration concept introduced in late seventies.
This, he said, was essentially to involve the people at ground zero in development process and fixing priorities to various projects in their areas. He said robust Panchayats can be very useful for overall development of rural areas and therefore people must elect honest and dedicated representatives whenever elections are held.