All sections should engage in dialogue with special representative: J&K Governor

Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N.Vohra on Tuesday sought participation of all segments of society, including the separatists, in the dialogue process initiated by the central government by appointing the special representative for negotiated settlement of problems faced by the state.

Addressing the joint session of state legislature here, he said: “The appointment of the Special Representative by the Union Government to hold talks with the people belonging to all shades of opinion is recognition of the concern for widening the constituency of peace and include even those who may have contrary ideological convictions.

“This initiative is in tune with the Prime Minister’s Independence Day Address reflecting his concern and empathy for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”

Vohra said that the government is “hopeful that, soon enough, all segments shall come forward for a dialogue and all issues would find resolution”, adding that the challenges will be met only through dialogue, “which is the best means of resolving all problems”.

He noted that that, in the past two decades, the “overriding attention” required to be given to maintenance of law and order has “adversely affected a meaningful focus on economic activities in J&K”, and “consequently, the state has lagged behind the rest of the country in almost all fields”.

“However, as the situation continues to improve, there is need to restore the balance and also attend to building a knowledge economy in the State. The government will lead the effort in this direction and also aid and assist in creating a facilitative environment for the establishment of such an economy in the state.”

Vohra also listed the developmental projects and initiatives started by the state government in addition to increasing the employment avenues for the local youth, as well as the implementation of various flagship programmes started by the central government and empowerment of women in the state.

Opposition National Conference and the Congress boycotted the Governor’s address, first by disrupting Vohra’s speech and later by staging a walkout from the house.