Jammu and Kashmir National Conference President Dr Farooq Abdullah on Friday expressed hope that the new government in New Delhi will open parleys with Pakistan saying only time bound, result-oriented dialogue offers the way forward to the protracted issue of Jammu & Kashmir.
Dr Farooq, while welcoming new entrants into the party at his Gupkar residence in Srinagar said, “I am sure that the new government at the centre will open talks with Pakistan. There is no substitute to dialogue. Dialogue is imperative to end the looming uncertainty in Jammu & Kashmir.”
On the occasion, party president welcomed PDP district president Baramulla, Bandipore Irshad Rasool Kar and a prominent Peoples Conference functionary Abdul Rahim Lone into National Conference.
“The need of the hour is to make party stronger at grassroots in order to put up a strong front against those forces as are inimical to the state’s special position. I am convinced that the new entrants into our party fold will employ their political acumen to make the party stronger at the grassroots,” Dr Farooq said. Party Vice President Omar Abdullah was also present at the event.
Maintaining that the cobbling of coalitions has always proven detrimental to the interests of people, Dr Farooq said, “In order to meet the demands and protect the interests of the state and its people, only a majoritarian government can provide the necessary impetus. Therefore a stable and strong dispensation is of paramount importance to steer J&K out of the mess created in the past four years.”
Expressing concern on a steep increase in the airfare of airlines operating to and out of Kashmir, he said, “It is reflective of the attitude of the central government. Given the fact the landing charges and the fuel charges are stable; I see no reason behind the steep increase in airfare,” adding, “I have time and again taken up the issue with the central government and will do it again. I have also impressed upon Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari about the need to upgrade the road connectivity between Jammu and Srinagar,” he said.
Recounting the achievements of NC led government in 1996; he said, “The reason why my government was able to achieve multi-sector development goals was due to the fact that I had a majority in the assembly. We were able to usher in an era of development from 1996 to 2002 notwithstanding various problems that we were facing then,” he said.
Dr Farooq also impressed upon the need to have an effective and well-coordinated response to natural disasters including incessant rains and snowfall. “I had mulled to replace the over ground electric cables in order to ensure that people get adequate power supply during untoward weather conditions, however, the idea could not be materialized. However, I am sure that the new government will undertake the process to make power lines less susceptible to outages during high wind thunderstorms or heavy snow or incessant rains.”
Among others, provincial president Nasir Aslam Wani, Treasurer Shammi Oberoi, North Zone president Muhammad Akbar lone, Qaisar Jamsheed Lone, Javaid Dar, Dr Sajjad Uri, Basharat Bhukhari, Shabir Mir were also present on the occasion.