Peoples Democratic Party President and Member Parliament, Mehbooba Mufti today said that her party stands by its commitment to fight for the people’s cause and to bring a qualitative improvement in their lives. “The Assembly elections of 2014 have thrown up a challenging mandate loaded with arduous responsibilities and huge expectations,” Mehbooba said while addressing a party convention here. In a statement to KNS, she said unfortunately the previous regime led by National Conference has left the State in a terrible mess and the present Government has not only to undo the damage done by that regime but mark a new beginning, with a fresh resolve, on political, economic and developmental fronts. “The revelations made in the latest report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) that how the previous regime has left around 300 developmental works worth Rs 1500 crore unfinished is just the tip of the iceberg,” she said and added that hundreds of school buildings, roads, water supply schemes and other projects were taken up and left midway by that regime just to fill the coffers of the politco-contractor nexus that was rampant during that period. “Even the salaries of the government employees had been diverted to make this politco-contractor flourish, she maintained. Making it clear that Jammu and Kashmir cannot develop without a flourishing democracy and democracy cannot be sustained without peace and development, Mehbooba reiterated her party’s resolve to facilitate dignified solution of the political and economic challenges confronting the State and its people. “I visualize a space of dignity, opportunity and prosperity for the people of the State. We have, between 2002 and 2005, laid the foundations towards building a peaceful and prosperous Jammu and Kashmir and it is now the time to move ahead on that vision marking a new beginning,” she said and added that the elected representatives have to b responsive to the needs and concerns of people. “They (elected representatives) must go back and consult their constituencies and explain what the government is doing for the larger welfare of the people,” she said. “We are here to give good governance to the people who have suffered immense miseries because of the governance deficit in the State. The person sitting behind the desk must know that he/she is the servant of the person in front of him, and not the other way around,” Mehbooba said and added that the good governance revolves around the fundamentals of performance, accountability, transparency and rule of law. The PDP President said at present what is needed the most is the political will and trust in the people of the State, “only then can the peace and developmental process prove fruitful.” She said to supplement the peace efforts in J&K, make it sustainable and catalyses its pace, the Government of India, shall have to provide ample resources to the State Government to proceed with post-flood economic reconstruction. Enumerating the Government’s vision for the common men and women residing in the territories of Jammu & Kashmir, Mehbooba said it revolves around the idea of making J&K a place of peace, prosperity and opportunity; reviving J&K to its historical place as a confluence of cultures, ethnicities, religions and traditions; making it a state where the people and not the government is empowered; putting in place a new and modern economic and financial structure that would constitute the State’s backbone; ensuring for our young men and women a broad range of opportunities so that they can develop their potential; developing and implementing strategies that give the State’s young people a real chance to find decent and productive work. The PDP President said despite passing through the darkest era of our history, the main source of the State’s confidence is the substantial potential of building upon its young human resource. “Even in the most difficult times, our young boys and girls are doing us proud in whatever field they take a plunge,” she said and added that with major interventions being made in the education sector to upgrade qualitatively and expand infrastructure-wise the academics and technical training, the State is now to some extent poised to catch up with the fast changing educational scenario around us. Mehbooba pointed out that the problem of unemployment especially among the educated youth is a matter of grave concern and needs immediate thought. She said in Jammu & Kashmir, the educated youth are mostly eyeing the government jobs as the sectors outside the government have just not flourished, because of the lopsided policies. “We need to break this vicious circle,” she said adding; “We have to assist our youth in getting their due share in the State’s life and progress, while equipping them to meet their obligations adequately.” She said not only the Government but all the stakeholders, including individuals, institutions and organizations, have to be brought together in a spirit of creative enterprise to widen the economic and employment space for the State’s youth. She said the Government has already put in place a New Recruitment Policy to fast-track recruitments in a transparent manner. Addressing the convention, PDP Chief Spokesman, Dr Mehboob Beg said, PDP has emerged as a viable regional alternative in the State ending the darkest era of decades old political exploitation. He said the people have now robust political option available in the shape of PDP which has shown a new direction through its impressive performance under the visionary leadership of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. Senior PDP leader and Ministers, Abdul Haq & Choudhary Zulfkar, PDP General Secretary, Nizamuddin Bhat, MLA Karnah, Raja Manzoor, MP Fayaz Ahmad Mir, former Minister Ghulam Mohi-ud-Din Sofi, Peerzada Mansoor, Political Advisor to PDP President, Ghulam Nabi Panditpiri and Rafiq Shah also addressed the convention.
2015 Kashmir Despatch