Jammu, May 22: National Conference on Monday sought a special session of the State Legislature and constitution of Union Cabinet Sub Committee for deliberating the course of action with regard to permanent resolution of problems confronted to people along the Line of Control and International Border in Jammu and Kashmir.
“This is a human issue that calls for humane approach by rising above party politics”, Provincial President Devender Singh Rana said while addressing a press conference at Sher-e-Kashmir Bhavan here this afternoon.
Rana, who along with a high level delegation of the provincial leaders, visited the Nowshehra Sector on the LoC, gave a vivid account of miseries faced by the people and stressed the need for priority and decisive action with regard to mitigating problems. He has already solicited the cooperation of the political parties in the region, appealing them to come under one umbrella to plead the common cause of border dwellers.
Flanked by senior leaders, including State Secretary Th Rachpal Singh and MLA Kathua Dr Kamal Arora, he said the special session of the State Legislature will enable the administration to frame a multi-pronged strategy to meet the exigencies on border with regard to rehabilitation of the people. He also expressed the hope that visit of a high level ministerial team from New Delhi can take on-the-spot decision about settlement of border residents.
“Let this human problem remain free from politics”, he said while invoking the conscience of those at the helm, adding that the border residents need safe roofs by way of allotting them five marla plots in protective zones, schooling for children, adequate health cover, protection to livestock and conducive atmosphere for farming. He said the people in distress seem to have lost confidence in the political leadership, since the promises made have not been kept. “No sooner the guns roar from across the border, the residents run for their lives by abandoning homes”, he said adding that this has almost become a regular feature. The enormity has increased during the past three years, he added.
“We, as a political class, must eschew tendencies of photo ops and issuing exploitative statements to hog headlines at the cost of sufferers”, the Provincial President said, hoping that the politicians will not forget the victims on LoC and International Border once the semblance of peace dawns. He said these mistakes have dented the credibility of politicians, who are only seen planning and propagating the so-called measures once the border dwellers get into usual trouble.
“Had the governments been true to their words, the sufferings of these unfortunate people would not have touched such alarming levels”, Rana said and hoped that the right thinking people will focus on mitigating the problems in border areas rather than making borders as theatre of their politics. He said the border dwellers formed the first line of nation’s defence and therefore it is incumbent upon the nation to steer them out of all the troubles.
Rana said that border skirmishes will remain a bitter reality unless the issues are resolved with the neighbouring country. He called for Indo-Pak dialogue for restoring order on the borders in the larger interest of hundreds of thousands people living along these. He said the pain of border dwellers cannot be felt hundreds of miles away. “It has to be felt by being amid them and understanding their psyche”, he maintained.
The Provincial President also stressed the need for special recruitment drive for youth belonging to border areas, especially in the army, police and para-military forces, saying this will instil a sense of confidence among them. He also sought facilities in the make-shift settlements for uprooted people, mobile schools and health teams and adequate medicare for livestock. He said the government should also consider relief to the displaced people, as their entire cropping season has got washed away due to intermittent shelling.
Rana made a passionate appeal to the media to play their pro-active role in awakening the policy planners in New Delhi towards problems of the border dwellers. “Once getting focused, the border peoples’ condition will force the rulers and political class as a whole to think about them”, he said.
Those present at the press conference included State Vice Presidents, Rattan Lal Gupta and Th Kashmira Singh besides Sheikh Bashir, Deepender Kour, Satwant Kour Dogra, Jugal Mahajan, Gurdeep Singh Sasan, Dharamveer Singh Jamwal, Vijay Lochan, Abdul Gani Teli, S S Bunty, Rashida Begum and others. (KNS)