‘AFSPA, troop cut to be discussed during PC’s visit’ Need to strengthen J&K centric CBMs: Omar

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Apr 7: Welcoming the proposed meeting between Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh and Pakistan President, Asif Ali Zardari, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah today stressed that Jammu and Kashmir centric Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) should be discussed apart from other ongoing issues.
In an informal chat with the media-persons on the sidelines of World Health Day function at Zorawar Singh Auditorium in Jammu University this morning, Mr Omar said, “sustained dialogue between India and Pakistan in an amicable atmosphere to address all bigger and smaller issues should be a continuous process”.
“The issues between India and Pakistan cannot be resolved in one meeting as such there should be continuous dialogue between the two countries to address the problems and find out solution to all the issues”, he further said.
About the expectations from the meeting between Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh and Pakistan President, Asif Ali Zardari, the Chief Minister said, “we would like that all the Jammu and Kashmir centric Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) like cross-Line of Control bus service and trade be discussed in the meeting apart from other bigger issues”.
“There is a need to strengthen the cross-LoC trade on both routes of Poonch-Rawalakote and Uri-Muzaffarabad”, said Mr Omar, who recently called for restoration of telephonic link between Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) to facilitate cross-LoC trade and replacement of barter system of trade by financial transactions.
It is pertinent to mention here that on the appeal of the Chief Minister, Legislative Assembly unanimously urged Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh and Pakistan President, Asif Ali Zardari to take up the issue of cross-LoC trade and travel during their meeting being held tomorrow.
“The Rehabilitation Policy for the return of youth from PoK and cross-border infiltration should also come up for discussion during the meeting so that benefits trickle to the State”, the Chief Minister stressed, adding “unless Pakistan accords permission to those misguided youth, who want to leave the gun and come back to join mainstream in Jammu and Kashmir, the Rehabilitation Policy framed by the State Government in consultation with Union Home Ministry, would not yield encouraging result”.
Responding to another question, Mr Omar said, “the visit of Union Home Minister, P Chidambaram to the State is a routine one”, adding “the issues relating to the security scenario would be discussed with the Home Minister”.
“The issues relating to revocation of Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA) and reduction of troops would also come up for discussion”, he said.
About the report of interlocutors, Mr Omar said, “we desire that interlocutors’ report should be made public and talks held on it before implementation of the recommendations”, adding “we will also make request to the Union Home Minister in this regard”.
Earlier, while addressing the gathering on ‘World Health Day’ function, the Chief Minister underscored the need for active involvement of civil society in stopping the evil of female foeticide in the State and contributing in the successful implementation of ‘Save Girl Child Programme’.
“Jammu and Kashmir has earned bad name for the higher graph reported about the female foeticide which should be great concern to every member of the society”, he said, adding “to discriminate girl child against boys and considering male children important than girls is a sick mindset which requires early addressing”.
He further said, “this disease developing in the minds of people and making them to indulge in female foeticide is the worst kind of sin for which there is no forgiveness from the Almighty”, adding “while Government has geared up its machinery in health and other concerned departments to focus on the issue and create public awareness about the far reaching consequences and dangerous effects of female foeticide, the civil society has an important role to play in this direction”.
Reiterating his Government’s endeavour for universalization of quality health service across the State, the Chief Minister said that healthy Jammu and Kashmir is his mission. “The benefits of development can only be relished when the people are healthy. Creation of schools and colleges, construction of roads and bridges, providing employment and bringing socio-economic betterment can be of positive utilization only when the people are healthy”, he said while flagging health sector the most important one in the process of development.
“The revival of ASHA scheme is proving highly beneficial in facilitating health facilities to pregnant women and children in rural areas”, he said, adding Government would further strengthen the scheme to enhance its reach and impact on the society and create awareness about ‘girl child safety’.
On the slogan ‘good health adds life to years’ flagged for this year’s ‘World Health Day’, the Chief Minister described it more relevant in the present day life style, adding “the changes in our life pattern due to modernization, mechanization and industrialization have put question mark to the health of a person. In order to add life to the years, necessary correction is required in our life style, food habits and other day to day activities”.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Health, Sham Lal Sharma said that due to the efforts of Health Department and because of the overall guidance of Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, the State has registered tremendous improvement in service delivery to the people in health sector.
In her welcome address, Commissioner Secretary Health and Medical Education, Tanveer Jahan highlighted the significance of observance of ‘World Health Day’ on 7th April every year with a theme, adding that this helps the functionaries of the department to focus on the subject and make necessary dent.
Director Health Service, Jammu, Dr Madhu Khullar, Director NRHM, Dr Yash Paul Sharma, Director Indian System of Medicine, Dr Kabir Dar, Director Family Welfare and other senior officers of the Health Department besides a large number of doctors, para-medical staff, ASHA workers and citizens were present on the occasion.

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