J&K Governor attacks Pakistan on R-Day

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Saturday accused Pakistan of supporting terrorists in the state, where Republic Day functions passed off peacefully.

“Our neighbouring country continues to support terrorists to disrupt peace and harmony in the state,” Malik said at the main Republic Day parade at the Jammu University Stadium where he unfurled the national flag and took salute at an impressive parade.

“There have been repeated attempts by terrorists to infiltrate from across the border,” the Governor added.

He expressed gratitude to the military and state police for working maintaining peace, unity and integrity in the state.

“Repeated ceasefire violations have brought untold hardships to the people living in the villages along the borders,” the Governor said.

“The government is taking required measures to alleviate their sufferings as notwithstanding the tough terrain, climate and other challenges, our security forces continue to maintain strict vigil and alertness on our frontiers.

“We salute the brave Army and police jawans who have made supreme sacrifices for maintaining peace and tranquillity in the state. The nation remains indebted (to them).”

“It is a matter of deep anguish that a number of our youth, some of whom were pursuing professional studies, were influenced by extremist ideologies to pick up the gun and join groups which perpetrate violence,” the Governor said.

“This has added to the difficulties and sufferings of the people particularly in the (Kashmir) Valley. It is our sanguine belief that violence and a confrontationist approach is no antidote to addressing any issue.

“A number of precious and innocent lives have been lost due to mindless and dastardly violence,” Malik said even as two Jaish-e-Mohammad militants were killed in the outskirts of Srinagar city minutes before the celebrations kicked off.

Two AK-47 rifles and ammunition were recovered from their possession after both were killed in Khonmoh area. The police sources said they had planned to disrupt the Republic Day functions here.

Malik took salute at a parade in which smartly turned out contingents of armed forces, police and school children took part.

Amid heightened security, the main parade in the Kashmir Valley was held at the Sher-e-Kashmir cricket Stadium in the city. Khurshid Ahmad Ganai, advisor to Governor Malik, unfurled the tricolour and took salute at the parade.

Members of Kashmir Press Club protested after some journalists were denied entry into the stadium.

All roads leading to the stadium in Srinagar were sealed by the security forces.

As a precaution, mobile Internet services were suspended by the authorities in the Kashmir Valley till the Republic Day functions ended. They would be restored by afternoon.

Official functions were also held at other district headquarters.

Separatists had called for a shutdown in the Valley on Saturday and appealed to people to observe it as a ‘black day’ to attract international attention towards the Kashmir dispute.