Want Smile on Every Kashmiri Face, Says L-G Manoj Sinha

SRINAGAR: For the first time in many years, Jammu and Kashmir’s summer capital witnessed no restrictions, security clampdown or snapping of mobile internet facility on Independence Day and the occasion was seized by the Union Territory’s Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, to assure its people that government wants to see smile on the face of each one of them.

“We are committed to make J&K a land of peace, prosperity and development. The people of J&K have suffered enormously in the decades of violence and mayhem. But the security forces are working tirelessly to put the last nail in the coffin of terror and its ecosystem’,” he said while addressing the main Independence Day function held at the refurbished Bakshi Stadium here on Tuesday.

Thousands of people had turned up to witness the unfurling of the Tricolour and the ceremonial parade and listen to Mr. Sinha. The government had made participation of its employees in the officially sponsored ID functions across the UT mandatory.

The Lt. Governor reiterated that his administration is committed to make J&K a terror-free place. He said, “The cross-border terror has acted as a cancer for the society. Our security forces have given their lives to fight it out and ensure a peaceful atmosphere in J&K”.

He added, “These mountains of J&K have witnessed the priceless sacrifices of our force personnel who laid down their lives for the nation’s integrity and sovereignty. I salute the martyrs and want to assure their families that the entire J&K and the nation stand with them. You will not be let down in any way.”

Talking about socio-economic changes and development J&K is witnessing “at a remarkable pace” after the abrogation of Article 370 four years ago, the Lt. Governor said, “Today, new roads, rail lines, new power projects, airport terminals, cinema halls, river fronts, etc. are coming up while much more is in the pipeline offing. The government under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modiji is working hard to shape the future of 13 million people of J&K”.

He reiterated that J&K is witnessing a record-breaking tourism boom too, providing new opportunities for growth and alleviating unemployment. He said that a major change recorded on this front is the surge in the foreign tourist footfall. “This year, so far, as many as 1.27 crore tourists have visited J&K. They included a significant number of foreign travellers. In fact, we have witnessed a 59 percent increase in foreign tourist arrivals. This year’s successful G-20 summit helped give J&K a global push. The participants of 27 countries in the G-20 tourism working group meeting held in Srinagar in May, sent out a positive message about this place,” he said. He added, “Also, this year’s Amarnath Yatra didn’t not only attract the devotees from within the country but also abroad. We saw many foreigners paying obeisance at the revered cave-shrine”.

He hoped that the travel advisories issued by the United States and some other countries in the 1990s or later discouraging their respective citizens from visiting J&K for security apprehensions will be withdrawn soon. “Today, J&K is recognized for the change that began four years ago and the peaceful atmosphere that has been established here. I am sure that negative travel advisories imposed on J&K by some countries will be withdrawn shortly,” he said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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