Srinagar, May 16: Former Finance Minister Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Thursday said that there seems to be a deep-rooted conspiracy to destroy Kashmir’s main sources of the economy especially its horticulture sector which sustained the state’s economy in its most turbulent times.
“The dilapidated condition of Srinagar-Jammu National Highway coupled with a ban on movement of civilian traffic on this only connecting link between the Valley and rest of the country is a manifestation of some covert plot to give collective punishment to the people of Kashmir,” Bukhari observed.
The former minister said that the blockade of National Highway due to the lackadaisical approach of authorities has now become a casual affair.
“Every winter people are supposed to face the miseries due to the condition of National Highway especially in areas including Banihal, Ramban, Nashri, Batote, Amarchasma and Patnitop. The National Highway Authorities have failed in upgradation and widening of this road at these places despite its upkeep being handed over to it, long back,” Bukhari lamented.
He said no concrete or permanent solutions are found to make this highway an all-weather road connecting Kashmir with the rest of the country.
“With the result, not only commuters but the fruit, vegetable livestock laden trucks are halted for long durations which not only inflict miseries on people but prove detrimental to the state’s economy,” he remarked further.
The former minister said that on the one side government had promoted cold storage chains in Kashmir and on the other banned the movement on the highway which has hugely impacted the transportation of fruit from different places to the storage centers.
“Fruit being perishable item has a less shelf life. The orchardists are supposed to pay huge sums to keep their yield intact till it reaches to the markets across the country for sale during proper seasons,” he said and added that the refrigerated vans are not being allowed to ply on national highway for its size and primarily because of the decrepit condition of the road.
“Non-availability of such vans has also added to the miseries of the farmers and orchardists who want to have a saving in time and freight charges incurred on transportation of their yield to outside markets.”
Bukhari said in such a pathetic scenario, instead of providing a hassle-free movement to fruit-laden trucks, the government seems adamant that farmers and orchardists do not get optimum returns of their yield by not taking measures to resolve their grievances.
He said the fruit industry received a severe dent during the last few decades of turmoil and with its apathetic approach, the government seems hell-bent to destroy this sector completely.
“Over 70 percent population, directly and indirectly, earn their livelihood by adopting the practices in horticulture sector in Kashmir and this industry generates around Rs. 8000 crores income annually. This sector should have been the main focus of the government policies but alas the ground reality is totally opposite,” he opined.
The former minister observed that keeping in view the immense contribution of this prestigious sector the government should remove the bottlenecks in the process of modernization of this highly important sector of the state’s economy.
Maharaja’s atrocities will always haunt Kashmiris: Er Rasheed
Srinagar, July 19: Reacting to a comment by Vikram Aditya Singh-Congress leader and Maharaja’s grandson, for insulting martyrs of July 13, 1931, AIP President Er Rasheed said that the statement made is shameful, distortion of the facts and misleading.
In a statement issued on Friday, Rasheed said that Singh must collect the courage and apologize for the huge atrocities his grandfather committed on innocent Kashmiris. He said “those praising Maharaja must not forget that Maharaja had bulldozed basic rights of citizens, snatched their religious freedom and given liberty even to his Chowkidars to murder and rape anyone they would wish. From Maharaja to his ordinary Chowkidars everyone would treat state like its concubine and their process of looting even day to day edibles of common masses was far worse than today’s gangsters. Those who were martyred on 13th July 1931 will remain, national heroes, till doomsday and every year on 13th July Maharaja’s dark era will be condemned.”
He said history can never forgive Hari Singh for the massacre of Nov 1947 by his army killing lakhs of Muslims in Jammu province. The state-sponsored genocide was the beginning of demographic changes in the state.
Rasheed asked NC and PDP to collect the courage and apologize for supporting Vikram Aditya Singh in recently concluded Parliamentary elections. He added that Singh’s statement insulting martyrs has exposed not only the dual face of Congress but that of NC and PDP as well.
Rasheed added that history will always remember the martyrs of 13th July 1931 who had a vision, conviction, commitment and courage to sacrifice their lives against Maharaja’s autocracy and thus created a history by bringing awareness among masses that how much mighty any autocratic ruler maybe, he has to surrender before the will of masses. Rasheed also condemned the incident in which a prominent citizen was crying for not being allowed to carry forward the dead body of his father by the security forces on the national highway, the spokesman of the party said in a statement issued to media.
NC dubs remarks as ‘horrendous, uneducated’
Srinagar, July 19: Jammu and Kashmir National Conference on Friday rejected the remarks on the 1931 martyrs by some quarters as horrendous and obnoxious, saying the day marked the open revolt against a despotic, pitiless and tyrant autocratic government.
Reacting sharply to the obnoxious remarks emanating from some untutored sections against the martyrs of 1931, party spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar said such brutish assertions against the martyrs who laid their lives for the dignity and self respect shows the disdain the scions of erstwhile autocrats hold for the cherished values of democracy. “The party had on various occasions rejected such assertions from time to time as having emanated from the untutored and communal elements. The uprising of 1931 was that of an oppressed against the oppressors, of defenseless against the armed, of poor against the landed gentry. The day marked the commencement of a peaceful struggle by the unarmed people against the then anti-Muslim and anti people government.”
“A ruthless autocratic government that taxed almost everything under sky, leaving just water and air for free for the poor masses. Such uncouth and untaught assertions of erstwhile autocratic scion cannot help him exonerate his family from unleashing the worst torments on the people of Kashmir in the shape of forced-labor (Begaar); the taxes were even levied on the cattle, marriages, and houses. The autocratic regime deputed revenue teams who used to collect revenue in kind for which sepoys were disputed to villages that used to create havoc in the villages. The revenue was collected with such severity and harshness that the cultivators had to sell even their belongings including cattle and sheep,” he added.
He said the worst feature of the worst attribute of the Dogra rule was its communal outlook. “It discriminated the Muslims on the basis of their religion and also interfered in their religious affairs. The Muslims were particularly marginalized. There was no Muslim representation in government offices. There was not a single Muslim gazetted officer in most of the departments, like defense, hunting, scientific research, libraries, archaeology, and agriculture. Major Muslim mosques were converted into Stables and stores,” he said adding, “It was due to the supreme and sacred sacrifice of the martyrs of 1931 that the state finally got the freedom after 118 years. And it was Sher e Kashmir Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah who painstakingly strived towards the fulfillment of the mission of martyrs of 1931. The coming generations will continue to draw inspiration from the martyrs of 1931. The supreme sacrifice of the martyrs will continue to guide our party in all its future endeavors.”
DGP releases ‘Beyond Alcoholism and Drug Addiction’
Srinagar, July 19: Director General of Police Dilbag Singh Friday released a book titled “Beyond Alcoholism and Drug Addiction” written by Ajay Vaid at Police Headquarters, Srinagar.
On this occasion the DGP said that the narrative of the book is the need of the hour. He said that J&K Police has already tightened the noose on the menace of drugs, many steps are being taken to fight the drugs. He said that this book not only provides information about the drug abuse and its effects but also informs that addiction is a treatable disorder.
DGP congratulated the author and said that this book would be useful for all those who are taking initiatives to curb the menace.
Written by Ajay Vaid, the book has been prepared to create knowledge and awareness about alcoholism and drug addiction. The book provides certain ways and means as how to face addiction and manage to keep away from it.
This is the author’s 3rd book. Earlier, he has written a book on ‘Tourism Destinations in India’ in 2011 and the 2nd book he has written is on ‘Exams, Job, Career and burning environment issues’ in the year 2012.
On the occasion ADGP (Headquarters) PHQ A. G. Mir and AIG (Prov. & Tpt.) PHQ Mubassir Latifi were also present on the occasion.