Srinagar, May 25 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s peace initiative with neighbouring countries would bear positive dividends for the strife-torn Jammu and Kashmir, Governor N. N. Vohra said here on Wednesday.
In his address to the joint session of the state’s bicameral legislature on the first day of its budget session, Vohra said: “The prime minister’s bold initiative of reaching out to Pakistan in a bid to establish lasting peace in the region has been welcomed in the state and revived the hope for peace, particularly along the borders where the lives of the people have been shattered.”
He said the impact of Modi’s visit to Lahore and the bilateral dialogues at different levels “have generated hope for our state, which has for long borne the brunt of unstable relations between the two countries”.
“The state government is committed to pursuing and strengthening the path of peace and dialogue for achieving reconciliation and development,” Vohra said.
Vohra also remembered late chief minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed “whose entire political career was marked by unwavering commitment to securing inclusive political stability and advancing the interests of the people of Jammu and Kashmir”.
Mufti died in January and his daughter Mehbooba Mufti is now heading the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-Bharatiya Janata Pary (BJP) government in the state.
“Perhaps the best collective tribute which this house can pay to Mufti would be to join hands and work, with single minded devotion, for generating an inclusive political environment and securing rapid and equitable growth and development of the state.”
He said the government was receptive to any debate as “dissent is an inherent and valued element of the democratic discourse between one and all, between those in government and those on the other side.
“There should be no occasion to feel discouraged or offended by voices of dissent.”
The governor said that the state government was committed to safeguarding the “special status … accorded to Jammu and Kashmir in the constitution of India and has been also spelt out in the agenda of the alliance which forms the basis of the PDP-BJP coalition government”.
Opposition National Conference and Congress legislators staged a walkout while the Governor was speaking.