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Omar showers praise on Azad for historic decisions

Written by: Staff

Srinagar, July 7: National Conference (NC) Chief Omar Abdullah today lavished praise on Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad's decision to create eight new districts in the state. In a statement here, he said the credit for creation of these districts only goes to Mr Azad who used his proximity to the Centre to fulfill a long-standing demand of the people of the state.

''Mr Azad needs to be appreciated for having taken this bold initiative. Despite the fact that the coalition government had promised creation of these districts in its Common Minimum Programme (CMP), the ruling alliance was unable to take the decision so far,'' Mr Abdullah added.

He said the process of creation of new districts need to be supplemented with adequate allocation for infrastructure and development for the welfare of the people.

The right budgetary allocation could lead to an era of creating development activities in these districts which till now were by and large neglected, the NC chief said.

Mr Abdullah said the Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) alliance had failed the people of the state by not fulfilling their commitment made by in the CMP.

''But, Mr Azad has come as saviour for them. He has proved that the PDP relied on hollow slogans and failed to fulfill the promises made despite the willingness and eagerness of successive governments in New Delhi to support the new regime in Jammu and Kashmir.'' He said the Centre by approving Mr Azad's action has proved that it was always willing to take steps for betterment of the state.

''What lacked was a focused government of the coalition partners.

The PDP sold dreams to the people, but Mr Azad delivered them reality,'' Mr Abdullah added.

At the same time, he said both New Delhi and Mr Azad should note that while creation of these districts would improve governance, the Kashmir issue was largely political and neither economic nor government related.

''And, therefore, the euphoria generated by creation of these districts should not deviate from the larger interest of finding a peaceful and honorable solution to the Kashmir issue,'' he added.

Mr Abdullah said the NC has, time and again, expressed its concern about the deteriorating law and order and the human rights situation in the state.

''It will be injustice for heroic steps if the people feel that this decision was taken less for governance and more to distract their attention from the breakdown of the dialogue between India and Pakistan on Kashmir, deteriorating law and order situation and the recent spurt in human rights violations despite Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's famous zero tolerance commitment,'' he added.

Mr Abdullah said the NC once again reiterate its commitment to support all pro-people decisions taken by anyone.

''But, at the same time, the party will continue to play the role of vigilant soldier of the opposition whenever the interests of the people of the state are threatened,'' he added.


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