Governor targets political parties, says they fail to reach out to people

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Aug 14: Governor NN Vohra today targeted political parties of Jammu and Kashmir, whether in or out of power saying they failed to muster courage for venturing out of their “secure habitats” to meet, hear and talk to even their own electors when the State was witnessing turmoil, a reference to unrest in the Kashmir valley.
The unusual attack by the Government on political parties of the State, both Ruling and Opposition, surprisingly, came in his Address to the people of Jammu and Kashmir on the eve of Independence Day.
“It is a sad reality that in the past years, when the State witnessed recurring turmoil, members of various political parties, whether in or out of power, failed to muster courage for venturing out of their secure habitats to meet, hear and talk even to their own electors. The mainstream political parties in the State need to accept the challenge of reaching out to their people in the villages and towns and winning hearts and minds of our youth,” Vohra said.
Though Vohra didn’t name any political party, his statement is being seen by the political observers as direct attack on both Ruling and Opposition parties, apart from some other smaller groups, which hold sway over Kashmir electorates.
The Governor went on: “time has come for every political party in the State to critically assess net outcome of the policies they have followed in the past and what exactly they seek to achieve in the future”
Referring to prolonged sufferings which the people of Jammu and Kashmir have been going through, Vohra said the collective voice of various mainstream political parties would assume much greater strength if all the Civil Society Groups in the State, of whatever kind, also join the cause to negate agenda of those, who seek to de-stabilize the State.
Calling upon the leaders of all political parties, social, cultural and religious organizations, the Civil Society and all other stakeholders in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions not to lose more time in closing tanks and working together for restoring positive environment in the State, the Governor said: “this was must if the State has to achieve peace and normalcy and embark upon the path of progress and prosperity.
“I would appeal to leaders of all mainstream political parties in the State to shed their differences and urgently join hands, forge an agreed approach and commence meaningful discussions with the leaders of all groups, which propagate divergent beliefs. As past experience has shown, differences of varied nature can be peacefully resolved through dialogue and discussions”.
In this context, he also pointed out that when other States are forging ahead on the path of growth and development, Jammu and Kashmir must not lag behind.
At the same time, Vohra also had a message for the Government officers and officials.
“Various public service cadres, which comprised the Government machinery, must also not be found wanting on any count. They must re-commit to work devotedly for rendering prompt, efficient and accountable services for advancing welfare of the people,” he said.
Taking on separatists, the Governor said: “for the past many years now, the growth and progress of Jammu and Kashmir has been retarded by continuing programmes of protestations and agitations, the calls for which are given by the separatist elements”.
Blaming Pakistan for maintaining strong support to subversive and terrorist activities, Vohra said, the neighbour has also stepped up ceasefire violations and attempts at infiltrating a much large number of terrorists into Kashmir. In the past over a year now, he added, security forces have remained perennially engaged in carrying out counter terrorist operations, particularly in South Kashmir.
The Governor hoped that the State Government will take initiatives to provide good governance, restore normalcy and hold early elections to Panchayats and Urban Local Bodies.
The Governor paid homage to brave men and officers of State Police, Central Armed Police Forces and Army, who continue to sacrifice their lives for safeguarding territorial integrity of the country. He added that during past few months, the terrorist groups have particularly targeted State police personnel to deter them from carrying out their duties but observed that the State constabulary has faced the challenge with uncompromising resolve.
“Besides the sad loss of lives, the recurring disturbances have adversely impacted tourism and all trade, business and economic activities. The day to day shut-downs and hartals have also resulted in disrupting functioning of the Governmental machinery and the public delivery systems, closure of transport, difficulties in the movement of goods and services and prolonged delays in the implementation of growth and development programmes in the State,” the Governor said.
Noting that the educational system has suffered irreparable damage on account of the recurring agitations, Vohra said: “the repeated interruptions in the teaching and examination schedules of educational institutions have adversely affected the career prospects of our youth. I have held many meetings with teachers and educational administrators and repeatedly appealed that all possible steps must be taken to see that arising problems are not allowed to affect the education of our children.
“It is unfortunate that parents, teachers and the civil society have not so far gathered the courage for protecting the educational system and saving our youth from getting embroiled in the agendas of the disruptive elements. However, it is noteworthy that, notwithstanding the severe difficulties faced in the recent years, our boys and girls have been doing extremely well in the various pan-India competitive examinations.”


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