Wednesday, Dec 25, 2002
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Jammu & Kashmir
By Shujaat Bukhari
The Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed consoling the relatives of the slain MLA, Abdul Aziz Mir, in Konibal near Srinagar on the occasion of `resmi-charum' on Tuesday.
"We will see to it that the killer is identified,'' the Mufti told a a huge gathering assembled at the house of the slain Pampore MLA, Abdul Aziz Mir, in connection with his `fourth day" ceremony at Konibal, around 25 km. from Srinagar. "The killing of Mir Saheb is part of the plan of enemies of the people who are hell bent on thwarting our peace process. In fact, they have tried to challenge our determination to implement our agenda of peace, welfare and healing touch.''
He said only dialogue, being the basic pillar of democracy, could lead to a solution. "'People voted for peace and we will not allow those who want to shatter this cherished dream of the people.'' Re-affirming his faith in dialogue and not in the gun, the Chief Minister said "I have asked the Prime Minster to hold unconditional dialogue with the people of J&K as promised by him before elections''.
PDP Vice-President and MLA, Mehbooba (second from left), daughter of the Jammu and Kahmir Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, is also seen consoling the victim's relatives. Photos: Nissar Ahmad
Asserting that his Government would continue to implement the Commom Minimum Programme, arrived at between various alliance partners, he said there would be no shift in his vowed policy to steer the people of the State away from the morass and reach out to the victims.
Paying tributes to Abdul Aziz Mir, the Chief Minister said the MLA was always concerned about the problems of the people. Reiterating that his coalition government was bound to the commitments made to the people during elections, he said it would do its best though "we do not have any magic wand to achieve the goal overnight". In this context, he referred to his recent visit to New Delhi and said that he told the Prime Minister, in the presence of Chief Ministers, to give "an employment package for our youth". "For those of our young men who did not pick up the gun, the nation need give special consideration for their rehabilitation'', he told Mr. Vajpayee.
His Government would approach the Election Commission soon for holding election to the Pampore Assembly seat and his People's Democratic Party, in consultation with the locals, would select a candidate. Responding to slogans for a particular choice, the Chief Minister said he was conscious of the people's choice, yet a final decision would be taken by the party leaders after due consultation.
Earlier, the J&K Pradesh Congress Committee chief, Ghulam Nabi Azad, paid tributes to the slain MLA on behalf of the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, and his own behalf and referred to Mr. Mir's simplicity, honesty, people-friendly approach.
The PDP vice-president and MLA, Mehbooba Mufti, the Housing and Urban Development Minister, Ghulam Hassan Mir, and the CPI(M) state secretary and MLA, Mohammad Yusuf Tarigami, were also present.
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