Let dark days of conflict be left behind, Pranab tells Kashmiris

Urging the people of Kashmir to leave dark days of violence and conflict behind, President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday said that no problems are ever resolved by violence.

“Let the dark days of violence and conflict be left behind.  Let a new dawn emerge. It is the time to move ahead with faith in our collective future and confidence in the largest democracy in the world, where rule of law prevails, robust institutions function and the Constitution serves as the supreme law,” Mukherjee said while addressing the 18th convocation of the Kashmir University during his first visit to the state since assuming office of the President in July this year.

However, the President candidly acknowledged that Kashmiris have grievances. “I’m aware that there are grievances. Many important issues need deft handling and speedy resolution. The government of India and the state government are determined and duty bound to ensure that every Kashmiri lives with dignity having equal rights and equal opportunities,” Mukherjee said.

The President highlighted relevance of tolerance in society. “No problems are ever resolved by violence. It only aggravates the pain and the hurt on every side. The healing process must be nurtured with love, compassion and patience,” he added.

Mukherjee called upon the youth of Kashmir to take the lead in forging the future of nation.

“Let Jammu and Kashmir set an example to the rest of India and the world by showing how the entire region can be transformed into a zone of peace, stability and prosperity,” he said.

The President asserted that India of tomorrow offers enormous opportunities for the youth of Kashmir if they only seize them. “Do not lose any more time. The whole world is rapidly transforming itself. We in India should not be left behind. The contributions of young Kashmiris are critical for India’s advancement to progress,” he added.

Contrary to reports that some students might create trouble, the 90-minute function went off smoothly. Dozens of students received degrees and gold medals amidst thunderous applause in a packed hall from the audience that included state governor N N Vohra, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, members of the state cabinet, legislatures, judges, scholars and students.

Condemns video

President Pranab Mukherjee also condemned the offensive video on Islam made in the US and its dissemination through social media.

Meanwhile, the strike called by Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Thursday evoked partial response.

Public transport remained off the roads in some parts of Srinagar city. Independent J&K MLA from Langate Sheikh Abdul Rashid staged a sit-in alongwith his supporters at Regal Chowk here to draw the President’s s attention to Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru’s mercy petition.

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