Stop divisive politics to resolve Amarnath row: PM

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New Delhi, Aug 15 (UNI) Expressing concern over the continuing violence in Jammu and Kashmir over the Amarnath land row, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said 'divisive politics will lead us nowhere'' and appealed to all political parties to keep the long term interests of the state in view and come together to find a permanent solution to the state's problems.

''The sacred shrine of Shri Amarnath inspires all Indians to march together. This shrine is a shining example of our secular tradition, where Hindu pilgrims have been looked after for years by their Muslim brothers,'' he said, while addressing the nation from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort on the occasion of the 62nd Independence Day.

Dr Singh said issues related to Amarnath, especially the issue of providing the best possible facilities to pilgrims, could only be resolved in an atmosphere of peace and goodwill.

''Dividing people in the name of religion can complicate these issues further which can also pose a threat to the unity and integrity of the country,'' he said, while appealing to the people of Jammu and Kashmir to cooperate with the government in establishing peace in the State.

''It is my conviction that all issues can be resolved only through dialogue and peaceful means,'' he said.

In this context, Dr Singh referred to the problem of regional imbalances in development, and said the less developed states such as the Jammu and Kashmir and those in the North East should catch up with the developed ones.

''Jammu and Kashmir and the North-eastern region require an era of peace for them to catch up with the more developed parts of the country. We have been taking various initiatives to promote peace and stability in these States. These initiatives will be taken forward,'' he said in his fifth consecutive Independence day address.


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