Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Sunday reiterated that his government would continue its efforts as a facilitator to help consistent internal and external dialogue processes to move forward positively. Endeavours made by the government during the last two and a half years had yielded encouraging results.
“Talks between India and Pakistan have resumed and the internal dialogue process is also moving ahead.” He appealed to the separatist leaders to be part of the process of finding a solution to the political issues of the State, transcending the policy of confrontation. “Under the changed political scenario in the sub-continent, you have to execute your role in a positive manner and be associated with the strategy of peaceful resolution of issues,” he told the separatists in his Independence Day address from Doordarshan, Srinagar. It will be telecast tomorrow.
He expressed the confidence that India-Pakistan relations would improve further and all issues confronting them would be addressed in a peaceful and amicable atmosphere. “My government is endeavouring to help strengthen Jammu and Kashmir centric CBMs (confidence building measures) put in place by the two countries. We are vehemently advocating more CBMs and new initiatives for a wider and closer cross-border relationship.”
He said his government was stressing on converting the present cross LoC barter trade into a real business supported by banking and communication facilities. He hoped that the ice would be broken soon.
The Chief Minister said that as promised his government had moved ahead to address developmental and political issues simultaneously. “I have stated as the Chief Minister and before taking over power that development issues cannot wait for political resolution of political problems. We have to deal with the two aspects separately and concurrently.” He would continue to work in this direction.
“I am not a Chief Minister who will forget the basic political issues while sitting on the chair. I am also not a person of that grain who would shield the culprits of human rights violation nor would I hide the facts. My position and actions itself show my firm commitment for zero tolerance of human rights violations.” He warned of severe punishment to violators of human rights.
Underlining that peace and tranquillity were imperative for the development and political resolution of political issues, Mr. Abdullah said that he had asked for a peaceful summer from the people to show results both on developmental and political fronts. “You have contributed in this direction positively during this summer, and I conducted successful panchayat elections to empower you. My government enacted the historic Public Service Guarantee Act to give the authority to the ‘aam adami’ to demand delivery of public service in a stipulated time frame. We made the general people masters of the situation in this regard, making administration subservient to the rights of the people for prompt public service delivery.”
He said officials who did not stick to the time line public service delivery would be fined Rs. 500 to Rs.5,000 and this amount would be paid to the affected persons as compensation. “This Act would, on the one hand, reduce the chances of corruption and, on the other, make administration prompt and responsive to the public call.”
Mr. Abdullah said that his government had also strengthened the Accountability Commission and Right to Information Act by providing heads and members to these important institutions to ensure transparency and accountability. Hindu