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I am still suffering from Kashmir hangover: Malik

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Panaji, Nov 28: Goa Governor Satya Pal Malik, who till recently was the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, on Thursday said that he still suffers from a Kashmir hangover.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the 50th edition of the International Film Festival of India, Malik, who oversaw a landmark political and constitutional transition in the region during his stint there, said that not a single bullet had been fired in J&K ever since the revocation of Article 370 in August this year.

“I just arrived in Goa three weeks ago. And I have come from Kashmir. So I am still suffering from a Kashmir hangover,” Malik said in his speech during the concluding ceremony of the festival, which was co-organised by the Union Ministry for Information and Broadcasting and the Goa government.

 

Malik said that before the Central government decided to revoke Article 370, which conferred a special status on the now former northern state, scores of people would be killed every week due to skirmishes.

“And now, even after Article 370 was abrogated, the Indian armed forces did not need to fire even a single bullet,” Malik said, adding that often bureaucrats would scare him by saying that at least 1,000 people might be killed in the aftermath of doing away with the special status.

Malik oversaw a controversial period as the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, during which the central government abrogated Article 370 and bifurcated the state into two Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.


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Abrogation of Article 370 will have positive impact: Naqvi

Firdous Hassan

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Srinagar, Jan 21: Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Tuesday said the abrogation of Article 370 will have a positive impact on the people.

Addressing a gathering at Harwan on the outskirts of Srinagar, Naqvi, the Minority Affairs Minister, said: “The new system will usher in development and prosperity in Jammu and Kashmir.”

He promised an increase in the Haj quota and scholarships for Kashmiri students.

 

The minister said the Central government is closely looking into the problem of unemployment and lack of industrial growth.

While quoting a verse of poet Iqbal, he said the ministerial visit to Jammu and Kashmir is just the beginning and many such initiatives will be undertaken in the future.

A memorandum was presented to the minister by residents of Fakir Gujri area which said the apprehensions of the common people of Jammu and Kashmir regarding land and jobs must be allayed by issuing a domicile certificate.

Naqvi also laid the foundation stone for a water conservation project at Harwan.

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‘Previous rulers used funds for personal benefits’

Firdous Hassan

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Srinagar, Jan 21:Charging previous governments of “unabated” corruption, Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Tuesday said Centre has earmarked Rs 16 crore for Himayat scheme to help educated unemployed youth to find jobs.

Naqvi was addressing a gathering in Srinagar outskirts as a part of Centre’s reach out programme to make people aware about the “positive impact” of the revocation of special status.

“Corruption is a disease which for many years affected Kashmir. Crores of rupees were disbursed for Jammu and Kashmir but the money was not reaching the people. Few people used these funds for their personal benefits. But now the funds are going to directly to you (people),” he said.

 

Naqvi said people were ditched by their representatives earlier. “We now want to reach out to the people, listen to their woes and solve their problems. We came here with a positive approach and mindset,” he said.

Naqvi informed that the Centre has earmarked Rs 16 crore under Himayat scheme for Jammu and Kashmir.    “We have already identified at least 1200 educated youth under this programme. People used to travel faraway places for treatment and now AIIMS is coming up in Samba in Jammu and Lassipora in Kashmir. Five medical colleges are also coming up that will open 500 seats for people of the state,” he said.

Union Minority Affairs minister said their focus is on the development and providing employment opportunities to the youth. “We framed schemes like Hunar Haq for youth. These schemes will give them employment along with development of the region. Those who apply for scholarships will get benefitted through central government’s initiatives,” he said.

Naqvi said main motive of their visit to Kashmir was “to bring positive and effective change in the lives of people”.  “It has happened for the first time that entire council of ministers had reached out to Kashmiri people to hear their views. The initiatives will not stop here as we will continue visiting the valley. We will stay in touch with the officers also to know about people’s grievances,” he said

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Several delegations call on union minister;`Protect jobs, safeguard land rights’

Firdous Hassan

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Srinagar, Jan 21:  For the first time since abrogation of Article 370, people directly petitioned union ministers demanding protection of jobs, safeguarding land rights and ending bloodshed.

Around dozen delegations called on Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi during Centre’s reach out programme at Fakir Gujri on Tuesday.

The delegations, which met the union minister, include Jammu and Kashmir Gujjar, Bakarwal Youth Conference, Gujjar Tribal Council, National Youth Corps, Block Contractors, Panch, Sarpanchs, Block Development Council members and local representatives of the area.

 

Naqvi was flanked by Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, Farooq Ahmad Khan, Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Shahid Iqbal Chaudhary and workers of BJP during public outreach programme.

“We appealed him (Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi) that people of Jammu and Kashmir should have rights on jobs and land.  We also highlighted the problems faced by Gujjar and Bakarwal community. He gave a patient hearing and assured that Centre will take concrete steps for the betterment of people,” said Farooq Chaudhary, vice president, Jammu and Kashmir Gujjar, Bakarwal Youth Conference (JKGBYC).

Farooq noted that they also urged the minister to implement Forest Conservation Act in Jammu and Kashmir.

Panchs, Sarpanch and BDCs raised their concern with regard to the functioning of grassroots democracy in the Union Territory. “We discussed empowerment of grassroots democracy and enhancement in our wages.  We put forth our viewpoint before the union minister,” a member Panchayat and BDC delegation, said.

Gujjar- Bakwaral Conference provincal president Chaudhary Mustafa Rahi said his delegation told the union minister to take steps for the betterment of Gujjar community.  “We will now see how Centre will go about,” he said.

Mohammad Gulzar, one of the locals who had come to meet union minister, said both countries need to end bloodshed in Kashmir.

“Schemes and huge fund distribution won’t do anything till there is an end to bloodshed is. It is not just development but wounds of people that require to be healed first,” he said.

Union minister, G Kishan Reddy is likely to visit mini-secretariat Ganderbal where he will spoke to multiple delegation.  On January 23, union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and G Kishan Reddy will visit Baramulla and Manigam respectively. The first phase of reach-out will end on January 24 when union minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank will visit Srinagar city center to address delegations.

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