SAMBA, Feb 4: Former Minister and senior State vice president National Conference (NC) Surjeet Singh Slathia today assailed the PDP-BJP Government for its callousness towards border dwellers, saying the promises made to them have just proven hoax.
“The people along the International Border (IB) are living in perpetual fear and threat due to shelling from across the border on regular basis but the present dispensation is invisible on ground to meet the challenge or address to the problems of the dwellers”, Slathia said while addressing a public meeting at Kesso village in Ramgarh sector.
He said peace would remain a distant dream unless Pakistan is engaged in a meaningful dialogue for ending ceasefire violations and border skirmishes. He said the ground situation on borders is very grim and the people are suffering and the normal activity has come to grinding halt. He accused the present Government of turning blind eye towards the magnitude of the problem and failing in providing ex-gratia to those killed, financial assistance to those who suffered injuries and compensation to those, whose houses have been damaged and livestock killed.
Slathia regretted that the promises of providing safe shelter sheds, five marla plots, carrying out special recruitment drive has altogether been forgotten and the tragedy is that there is no arrangement for the sufferers when they are dislocated or medical facilities during the exigencies due to shelling.
He cautioned the Government against testing patience of the people and sought immediate release of ex-gratia, compensation and other assistance to the shelling affected people. He stressed the need for evolving a contingency plan for meeting such situation on borders and said that immediate steps were needed to be taken to instil sense of confidence among the people in vulnerable areas.
The former minister dwelt on volley of subjects, including the dreams shown by the BJP about Ache Din and asked as to what had happened to the promise of the Prime Minister with regard to providing employment to two crore youth. He said in the recent budget the NDA Government is now talking about just 70 lakh jobs. “These include vendors as well”, he said while taking jibe at the BJP.
Slathia regretted over the attempts being made to divide the people in the name of region and religion, saying this suits those who have benefitted from polarization in the elections. However, he said National Conference believes in inclusiveness where opportunities of progress are made available to all, irrespective of cast, creed and religion.