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J&K Governor Bats For Early Resumption of Indo-Pak Dialogue

Jammu: Batting for early resumption of Indo-Pak dialogue, Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra on Monday said it is imperative to work toward resolution of conflicts and take required initiatives for securing peace and development.

In his address to the joint session of Legislature, he appealed to the lawmakers to find ways and act with determination to create a new political discourse “otherwise the senseless violence may become a way of life and ruin the future of Jammu and Kashmir”.

“It is imperative that we work toward resolution of conflicts in the civil society and polity.

“While it is important that Indo-Pak dialogue is resumed early, it is equally important that the conversations happen within families across villages, in towns and cities to build a social and moral consensus so that a congenial atmosphere is created for the government to take the required initiatives for securing peace and development,” Vohra said.

He said it is important that the House sets “thoughtful” standards of political discourse and paves the way for narrowing of differences with regard to political and societal issues, cutting across the party lines and ideological hues.

“If this is done, you would have succeeded in laying the foundation of sustainable peace in the state… The seeds of future will be sown by you — the elected and the nominated representatives of people. If all of us contribute toward positive and constructive debate, we can soon hope to achieve tangible results founded in an environment of reconciliation,” he said.

“In the last 30 years, there have been times when the very functioning of the democratic framework was endangered in our state, but we are lucky to have been successful in restoring the credibility of our institutions,” Vohra said.

For the last few years, from around 2008, the social order has been targeted and this has posed a far bigger challenge than any of the earlier ones, he said, adding “I am confident that we shall not allow the weave and weft of our social fabric to be affected in the name of religion or ethnicity.”

A worrying concern is that the younger generation, especially in the Valley, is less engaged civically, exhibits less social trust and confidence and, consequently, have a weaker commitment to the inherited value system, he said. Addressing this serious issue has to receive very high priority and we need to urgently go forward to engage the youth, he said.

Terming the loss of lives in the unrest in the Valley as most “unfortunate and regrettable”, he said: “We must accept that for one or the other reason, all of us are to blame — parents, protesters, politicians and the law enforcers…We must admit our shortcomings.”

He said the events of the last six months have particularly affected the educational sector and caused irreparable damage to the academic career of lakhs of young men and women.

“For safeguarding life and public property, the police and security forces have been exercising extreme restraint, despite grave provocations… the law and order situation is gradually getting back to normalcy,” he said.

“The unrest in the past months has seriously hampered and retarded the peace, developmental and democratic processes and the environment was not conducive for elections to the rural and urban local self governing bodies.

“However, the state government is fully committed to holding of Panchayat elections by March 2017 and proceeding to establish the three tier Panchayati Raj institutional framework,” the Governor said.