Welcoming the recent meeting between Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, and his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif, at Ufa, on the sidelines of SCO Summit in Russia, Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, today stated that peace in the region can only come through sustained and meaningful dialogue between India and Pakistan.
Defending J&K’s special status granted by the Indian Constitution, Mufti Sayeed said the state enjoys a unique place in the Indian Union and its power flows through one of the strongest Assemblies of the country.
The Chief Minister was addressing a huge gathering of people at Mazar-e-Shohada at Naqshband Sahab, here today, after paying homage to the Martyrs of July 13, 1931.
Quoting from his slogan of 2002 – Na Bandook Se Na Goli Se, Baat Banegi Boli Se, the Chief Minister said people of the State have shown the strength of ballot by voting overwhelmingly in a series of elections since 2002. He said both India and Pakistan have to resolve their differences by talking to each other for entrenching lasting peace in the region.
Asking the people to safeguard the State’s special status granted by the Indian Constitution, the Chief Minister hailed the people and leadership of the State during the freedon struggle of the country by rising above religious considerations and acceding to India, which was an embodiment of secularism. “It gives me immense pride to say that J&K was part of the collective struggle in the Subcontinent against the British and their cohorts,” he added.
Making a special mention of the empowerment of people at the grassroots level at that time, the Chief Minister said the struggle by peasants and the most downtrodden people bore fruit by agricultural reforms that culminated in enactment of Big Landed Estates Abolition and Agrarian Reforms Acts.
Reiterating his commitment to give the people fruits of good governance, Mufti Sayeed promised to lay foundation of a new Srinagar city, which bore the brunt of 2014 floods. “We will build a new modern city in Srinagar and give priority to Shahr-e-Khas, whose handicraft industry, along with the horticulture sector, sustained our economy during the most turbulent period of Kashmir’s history,” he stated.
Reiterating his resolve to rehabilitate every flood victim, the Chief Minister said the state is vigorously pursuing with the Centre a Comprehensive Flood Protection and Management Programme to save the Valley from the persistent threat of floods. “The project envisages construction of an alternate flood channel worth Rs. 2200 crore. We will ensure that all measures are taken to secure valley from any future inundation,” he added.
Pointing toward some of the measures taken by his Government in a short span of four months, Mufti Sayeed said he has embarked on a mission to end unemployment and put J&K firmly on the path of development, in particular by making strenuous efforts in restoring infrastructure damaged in the floods. “We have strengthened the Services Selection Board (SSB) and will have a full-strength Public Service Commission (PSC) in place soon to fill huge vacancies, which the previous Government failed to do during their tenure,” he added.
Paying rich tributes to the Martyrs of 1931, the Chief Minister said the State will never forget the huge sacrifices of its bravehearts against suppression and autocracy. “It was a unique struggle that culminated in the sacrifice by our Martyrs, who scripted a new dawn in the history of the State which laid the edifice for democracy and human dignity of people,” he said.
After laying floral wreaths and offering Fateha, the Chief Minister said peace and tranquility are vital pre-requisites for achieving progress and prosperity. “The real homage one can pay to the Martyrs is by creating an equitable environment for everyone to grow and gel together in a democratic atmosphere,” he added.
Minister for Horticulture, Haj and Auqaf, A. R. Veeri, Minister for Law, Justice & Parliamentary Affairs, Relief and Rehabilitation, Syed Basharat Bukhari, Minister for Rural Development, Abdul Haq Khan, Minister for CA&PD & Tribal Affairs, Ch. Zulfkar, Minister for Public Works, Floriculture, Gardens & Parks, Syed Altaf Bukhari, Minister for Education, Naeem Akhtar, Minister of State for Power, H&UDD and I&C, Mohammad Ashraf Mir, MLC, Khursheed Alam, DGP, K. Rajendra Kumar, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, B. B. Vyas, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Asgar Samoon, IGP, Kashmir Zone, SMJ Gillani, besides Deputy Commissioner and SSP Srinagar were also present on the occasion.