auspicious occasion of our Independence Day I pay homage to our great
leaders who carried out a prolonged struggle to liberate India from the
colonial yoke and convey my warm greetings and good wishes to
the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
2. I am deeply saddened by the continuing disturbances in the
Valley in the past several weeks which have led to several dozen young
men, and even women and children, getting killed and seriously injured.
Daily incidents of stone-pelting and recurring attacks by protesting
groups on the uniformed forces and their establishments have left
thousands of civilians and Security Forces personnel seriously injured.
3. While there may be varied explanations for the continuing
disturbances it is distressing that pre-occupation with the past has
paralyzed our enormous responsibility to look after, educate and groom
our bright youth and enable them to compete and succeed in every walk of
life to emerge as future leaders who would take the State to its
rightful place in the country.
4. For the past several years I have been repeatedly appealing
that we must not allow any arising problem to adversely affect the
educational schedules of our children. It is indeed most unfortunate
that the recurring calls for shutdowns, day to day protests and
agitations have led to the complete disruption of the educational
system. The closure of schools, colleges and universities and disruption
of the academic schedules has caused irreparable damage to the career
prospects of bright boys and girls who are pursuing different
5. It is most urgently necessary for the Government and the
leaders of the civil society to ensure that all educational institutions
reopen immediately. Despite varied constraints in the recent years, our
boys and girls have been doing extremely well even in the toughest all
India competitive examinations. It is the bounden duty of the State to
ensure that our students do not face any kind of disadvantage which may
adversely affect the successful pursuit of their goals and aspirations.
6. The continuing disturbances have also disrupted all business,
trade and economic activities, particularly affecting the livelihoods of
those who earn their bread on daily basis. The functioning of the
administrative apparatus and the public delivery systems have also been
adversely affected and this situation is retarding the timely
implementation of growth and development projects.
7. Our liberal democratic framework allows unfettered opportunity
for the pursuit of widely diverging ideologies. Side by side, our
pluralistic foundations encourage and enable the resolution of all
manner of differences through dialogues and discussions instead of
through confrontations and violence.
8. I urge the leaders of all the mainstream political parties in
the State to urgently join hands, evolve an agreed approach and commence
a purposeful dialogue with all groups which propagate divergent
approaches. Side by side, it is of vital importance that all civil
society groups also join ranks and give a loud and clear call to all
those who are involved in the continuing agitations, as well as to all
others who support their cause, and launch all possible initiatives to
make the latter recognise that the vicious cycle of the ongoing violence
has caused enough death and destruction and must cease forthwith.
9. While the restoration of peace and normalcy should be our first
and most immediate priority, I would yet again urge the leaders of all
the mainstream political parties in the State to ensure that there is no
delay in commencing a purposeful dialogue to vigorously pursue a
sustained political initiative in Jammu and Kashmir, with the support of
New Delhi as has already been assured. The political leadership faces a
momentous challenge of taking every required initiative to reach out and
win the hearts and minds of our youth. This endeavour must be very
strongly supported by the entire administrative machinery in the State.
In the centuries past, Jammu and Kashmir has been known for its high
traditions of communal harmony, secularism and pluralistic belief.
Today, it should be our collective endeavour to take all required steps
to revive and protect the composite identity of the State. The political
leadership would also need to take varied initiativesto progressively
strengthen communal harmony among the people of all the regions of the
State, based on the principles of mutual respect and accommodation
ofeach others sensitivities, concerns and beliefs.
To achieve peace, progress and prosperity, it is imperative that the
leaders of all political, social, cultural and religious organisations,
and all other stakeholders in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, urgently join
hands and work most closely together to restore and preserve harmony in
the State. They shall also need to work unitedly to see that the State
achieves speedy progress and early secures its rightful place at the
vanguard of the nation.
The very significant increase in the attempts at the cross LoC
infiltration in the past year point to the unceasing attempts of our
western neighbour to perpetrateterrorism and create chaos to rupture the
established order in the State. It is, therefore, necessary for our
Security Forces to maintain eternal vigilance on the borders.
I take this opportunity of paying homage to all the brave officers and
men of the State Police, Central Armed Police Forces and Army who have
sacrificed their lives to safeguard the territorial integrity of our
I would conclude by conveying my greetings to Chief Minister Ms Mehbooba
Mufti, her Council of Ministers, and to the people of Jammu and
Kashmirand wish early restoration of sustained peace, normalcy and
prosperity in all parts of the State.