SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir’s Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, stated on Thursday that double standards won’t be tolerated, and ‘a terrorist must be called a terrorist,’ regardless of the circumstances. He also emphasised that the time is right for holding Panchayat elections in J&K.

Addressing a gathering at HMT on the city outskirts after inaugurating a series of projects, LG Sinha expressed that militancy had devastated J&K in the past. “Some people admit that terrorism, violence, and separatism destroyed Kashmir’s economy and crippled the common man. However, they still hesitate to call a terrorist a terrorist. These are the people who created an atmosphere of terror in J&K,” LG Sinha said. “Double standards won’t do. A terrorist has to be called a terrorist, no matter what.”

LG Sinha inaugurated various projects during his visit to the Integrated Command and Control Centre at HMT, Zainakote. He asserted that those who hesitate to call an “atankwadi a terrorist” are the ones who do not desire peace in J&K.

LG Sinha mentioned that peace has started to become a permanent feature in J&K after a long gap. “For the first time, 1.27 crore tourists have visited J&K in the first seven months of 2023, and the figure is expected to exceed 2.25 Crore by the year-end. The LG added that the tourism infrastructure is being upgraded throughout the UT to provide the best facilities to guests.

He emphasised that J&K had been deprived of a proper Panchayat raj system for decades. “The system was established for the first time in J&K to ensure governance at the grassroots level. I believe the time has come when we should have Panchayat polls so that people can once again reap the benefits of governance at their doorsteps,” he said.

The LG stated that Srinagar is witnessing a major revamp and is set to become a prime example of development shortly. “Some people who can’t digest the city’s development are even making non-issues into problems. Recently, heavy rainfall triggered waterlogging, which was highlighted on social media. However, the roads were designed in a way that resulted in waterlogging during rainfall. Addressing the issue will take some time as Srinagar is set to emerge as a model city,” he said, expressing hope to see the ongoing projects.

He reiterated that no development would take place unless peace becomes a permanent feature. “I have been saying this from day one,” he said, adding that “today, youth and people are going home late at night while holding guitars and ice creams in their hands.”

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