“Let the dark days of violence and conflict be left behind and a let a new dawn emerge,” President Pranab Mukherjee told the people of Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday.

Reaching out to people who have suffered decades of violence, he acknowledged that they had grievances.

“Many important issues need deft handling and speedy resolution,” he said, adding both the Central and State governments were determined to ensure that the people of Kashmir lived with dignity and had equal rights and opportunities.

Mr. Mukherjee was speaking at the 18th convocation of Kashmir University here during his first visit to the State since assuming office of the President two months ago.

“No problems are ever resolved by violence. It only aggravates the pain and hurt on every side. The healing process must be nurtured with love, compassion and patience,” he said.

Scores of students received degrees and gold medals amidst thunderous applause .