Vajpayee’s Rule saw Improved Relations with Pakistan, Talks with Separatists: MP Mehbooba



Muftis in Jammu

Promising people of a new dawn in Jammu & Kashmir, Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Friday said the objective of forging an alliance with BJP is to “bring in equitable and balanced development of all the three regions of the state”.

He said he saw an opportunity for peace and development for entire J&K by coming together with BJP, which had won people’s mandate in Jammu, just like PDP did in Kashmir. “I joined hands with Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, to bring people from Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh together with their fellow countrymen and to end the politics of uncertainty,” he said.

The Chief Minister said this while addressing a huge convention of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) workers, here today.

The Chief Minister said the fractured mandate in 2014 elections was by far the biggest challenge for him and his party in which he saw a new hope and an opportunity for reconciliation in J&K. “Our tie up with BJP did not happen in a day. It was not a knee-jerk reaction. We discussed in detail all critical issues for nearly two months and arrived at an Agenda of Alliance, which is the passport to peace and economic prosperity of the state,” he added.

On this occasion, the Chief Minister announced setting up of a new nursing college, an amusement park and development of revered Devika Mandir as a tourist and pilgrim destination at Udhampur.

Describing road connectivity as the real indicator of progress and development, the Chief Minister said government is mobilizing institutional financing for road sector under normal Capital Expenditure Plan and Central schemes to annihilate distances.  He said under PMGSY, 660 km road-length, including 290 km in Udhampur,  will be constructed / macadamized in Jammu province at a cost of Rs. 721 crore while under CRF, Rs. 552 crore will be spent for construction, up-gradation and macadamization of roads. “Monsoon season has ended and the roads will match the quality we maintained between 2002 and 2005 with funds availed from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). We have also made contractors accountable by bringing in a provision of ‘Defect Liability Period’ that binds them to maintain all roads for a period of three years,” he added.

Mufti Sayeed said under Cities and Towns Programme, the government has taken up macadamization of roads in a big way. He said Rs.106 crore have been approved for Jammu province and the Planning Department has drawn additional plan for Rs. 377 crore, envisaging additional road length of 1252 km. “On the whole, 2144 km of road length is being taken up during the current financial year for construction and macadamization under various programmes in Jammu province,” he added.

Assuring people residing in far-flung and remote areas of the state of addressing their problems on priority, the Chief Minister said the government has decided to upgrade existing healthcare institutions in each constituency into Maternity & Childcare Centres and Model Hospitals so as to avoid referrals to district and tertiary institutions.

Promising a bright future to thousands of students in the state where merit will be the sole consideration for selection, Mufti Sayeed said he has already started the process of heralding J&K into an new era of excellence in the education sector. He said institutions like PSC and SSB, which had been rendered defunct, have become fully functional. “We wasted no time in reviving PSC and SSB by appointing men of proven integrity so that youth get a window of opportunity for gainful employment,” he said.

Describing workers as the cog-in-wheel of PDP, Mufti Sayeed said his eyes and ears are not on New Delhi but connected to the people on the ground.

He said he is politically alive because of his workers, who work tirelessly and provide him vital feedback about government’s performance. “You will not find the system wanting on any front and I promise to bring administration right at people’s doorsteps,” he stated.

Asking people to join the procession led by the Chief Minister for ushering in a new era of development in J&K, the PDP President, MP Mehbooba Mufti, credited former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, for his “positive moves on political reconciliation in J&K”.

She said it was Vajpayee, who acceded to Chief Minister’s request in 2002 for starting people-to-people contact between divided families living on either side of LoC and giving a new lease of life by constructing new roads and building infrastructure. “When Mufti Saab took over reins in 2002, J&K was just like a prison. During Vajpayee’s rule, relations with Pakistan improved, talks with separatists began, Mughal Road was built, cross-LoC travel between Uri and Muzaffarabad was started and peace returned on borders,” she said an added that it was during PDP rule between 2002 and 2005 when liberal financial assistance was provided for holistic development of the state.

Hailing the revolutionary steps taken by the present government in a short span of six months in education and development sectors, Mehbooba said those who indulge in divisive politics see a threat in coming together of the people from all the three regions of the state.

She said the government has flagged unemployment as a major challenge and steps will be taken to overcome it by absorbing qualified students in the government as well as the private sector.


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