Patna, Aug 4 (UNI) Former Jammu and Kashmir Governor Lt Gen (retired) S K Sinha has described the latest Amarnath row as a handiwork of terrorists, stating that they did not want peace in the valley.
Addressing a seminar on ''Amarnath Yatra 2008'' here yesterday, organised by the Citizens Forum for National Integration, Mr Sinha said the militants were interested in sabotaging the state's prosperity.
On the Amarnath controversy he said diversion of the land was cleared by the ministers for construction of temporary infrastructure for pilgrims. The land had been in use for the purpose for many years.
''Useless land was diverted to the Amarnath Shrine Board but it is being opposed to show that the Board is trying to change the demography of the place by using the land,'' he said.
Throwing light on the problems faced by him during his tenure as governor, Mr Sinha admitted that he had faced difficulty in taking some decisions.
Describing the people of the valley as ''simple'', he said J&K was a truely secular state but fundamentalists were ''poisoning'' the people's minds.
On the Amarnath Yatra row he felt such forces had become active to disturb peace again.
He also alleged that the Centre had never evolved a concrete plan to solve the Kashmir issue and therefore, it could not effectively face the challenges posed by religious fundamentalists and separatist forces.
''Instead of having a concrete plan, the government had been unnecessarily defensive and apologetic on the issue,'' he said, pointing out that the political appeasement policy would not serve the purpose.
He appealed to those in power to bring a positive change in Kashmir. He also urged those, who were working for social cause, to strive to change the mindset of the people. He lauded the efforts of the social workers and the army in containing terrorism in the valley.
Mr Sinha also batted for the need to revive and promote 'Kashmiriat'--a unique heritage of Kashmir, stating that it would be the best way to fight terrorism.
He elaborated that the term stood for all the three religions-- Hinduism, Islam and Buddhism--which flourished there.
''All efforts to install Kashmiriat were lost in the flames,'' he rued.
UNI RS SB PL KLC1424