‘People experiencing peace, normalcy, development’
*Stone pelting, bombing, terror incidents now history
JAMMU, May 25: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha today said the exporters of terror, a reference towards Pakistan, have been taken aback with the success of G20 meeting in Srinagar and maintained that displeasure of the neighbour won’t make any difference because the people of Jammu and Kashmir are sick and tired of their nefarious designs.
In an interview to Newsweek magazine, Sinha said all major G20 nations supported the idea of holding an international event in Jammu and Kashmir and naturally when event of such magnitude is organized in J&K, some people were bound to have problems with it.
“The exporters of terror (a reference towards neighbouring Pakistan) were obviously taken aback. They made threatening statements which are not acceptable to any peace-loving nation. But their displeasure is not going to make any difference as the people of Jammu and Kashmir are sick and tired of their nefarious designs,” he said.
Taking a dig at Pakistan, the Lieutenant Governor said it should first worry about the situation in their own troubled country instead of interfering in our internal matters.
Describing presidency of G20 as a matter of pride for India, he said Prime Minister Narendra Modi ensured that all regions get due representation while deciding venues of the meetings. And Jammu and Kashmir being an integral part of India could not have been left behind, he added.
Responding to a question on whether security for G20 meeting in Srinagar was too high or too little, Sinha said: “It was just appropriate”.
Asserting that situation in Jammu and Kashmir during last three years has changed a lot, he said the people have contributed to this as they don’t want replication of the past situation when educational institutions and shops would remain shut.
“Now, Jammu and Kashmir has moved on and so have our people. They just want peace, normalcy, development and prosperity which they are experiencing now,” the Lieutenant Governor said.
On security, he said they had to be careful because of threats by responsible people of the neighbouring country. “We couldn’t risk safety of our foreign dignitaries and delegates”.
It may be mentioned here that Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto had issued threats to disrupt G20 meeting in Srinagar.
However, Sinha maintained that across the globe tight security is maintained for all such meetings.
“Maintaining adequate security for our guests was our duty. At the same time, we ensured that our people are not subjected to inconvenience. And this was evident as normal life went on across the City (during the event) which a few years ago would have been unimaginable,” he said.
The Lieutenant Governor expressed confidence that many countries will withdraw their adverse advisories for their residents on visiting Kashmir after successful G20 event.
“What happened in the past caused fear in the minds of some nations but their perspective is bound to change after G20 meeting,” he said, adding in ‘New Kashmir’ the Government has given industry status to hospitality and tourism sectors.
In the coming days, he said, there will be world class facilities and tourism-related infrastructure in Jammu and Kashmir. “We favour private investments as the Government has no business being in business”.
Sinha disclosed that the Government has identified some land where good hotels would come up as their efforts are to ensure sufficient availability of rooms and ensure that supply is equal to the demand.
“We are committed to ensure that this paradise on earth will flourish further in just few more years,” he said.
Asserting that tourism is prime sector of economy in Jammu and Kashmir, the Lieutenant Governor said last year an unprecedented number of tourists visited the Union Territory. However, he asserted, organizing G20 meeting was important for the UT in many ways.
He said G20 meeting was maybe first such high level event that took place in Jammu and Kashmir after independence.
“Now people have left violence and negativity behind. stone pelting, bombings and major terror incidents have become history. Normalcy has returned to beautiful Jammu and Kashmir,” Sinha said.