Secularism holds key to single-entity of J&K: Ajatshatru

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Aug 22: Senior National Conference (NC) leader and former Minister, Mr Ajatshatru Singh today underscored the crucial need for  preserving pluralistic ethos of a multiple religious state like Jammu and Kashmir, saying this was the only and most strong binding force between its three distinct regions.
“We cannot affort to deviate from our chosen path”, Mr Singh said while interacting with National Conference functionaries this morning, adding the challenges posed to the cherished ideals pursued single-mindedly by the Great Maharaja and Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah could be met by maintining the time tested unity and amity between the regions and the people. He said National Conference has yet again to play its historic role in forging unity and foiling the machinations of divisive forces.
Mr Singh that diversity of this unique State has been an eyesore for many, who have been attempting to trample it from time to time but the faith reposed in secular principles by the brave people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh has been a redeeming factor. He exhorted the party functionaries and workers to take a frontal role  in foiling all attempts of weakening the State’s secular democratic traditions. “Fringe elements cannot vitiate the atmosphere by playing politics based on region of religion”, he said and added that the State has to grow as a single entity.
He decried the myopic political agenda of power seekers, saying their machinations were detrimental to the larger interests of the State. “National Conference believes in healthy political discourse and expects others too to come up with their policies and programmes rather playing to galleries”, he maintained.
Referring to ensuing elections, Mr Singh said: “We will have to redouble our efforts to further strengthen bonds of brotherhood and amity to steer the State to pinnacles of progress and prosperity”. He made a specific mention of steps taken during the past nearly six years on developmental front across the State with special focus on restoring peace and normalcy. “This has indeed made a difference with people breathing in a free and relaxed atmosphere, especially in the Valley which braved the major brunt of disturbed conditions, and developmental tempo gaining further momentum.


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