Will work to restore J&K statehood: PM

Reaching out:Narendra Modi interacting with a delegation from the J&K’s Apni Party, in New Delhi on Saturday.PTI

Reaching out:Narendra Modi interacting with a delegation from the J&K’s Apni Party, in New Delhi on Saturday.PTI  

Centre will resolve all issues, Modi assures a delegation from Kashmir’s newly formed Apni Party

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the government would work with all sections of the population in Jammu and Kashmir to restore its statehood “at an early opportunity”.

A 24-member delegation of the newly formed Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party, led by its leader Altaf Bukhari, called on Mr. Modi at his residence here on Saturday evening, and discussed various issues such as concerns about demographic changes, the delimitation exercise and the grant of domicile, officials said.

“Referring to his statement in Parliament, the Prime Minister underlined that the government will work with all sections of the population to realise the hopes of statehood for Jammu and Kashmir at an early opportunity,” an official statement said.

The Prime Minister called for janbhagidari (people’s participation) in transforming the Union Territory, and emphasised the importance of an administration that gave voice to the people. He noted that democracy in the region could be strengthened through a fast-moving process of political integration, the statement said.

Job avenues for youth

Speaking about youth empowerment, he emphasised that youngsters should act as catalytic agents for the development of Jammu and Kashmir. He highlighted the importance of skill development and creating employment opportunities for the youth to bring in an overall transformation in the Union Territory, it said.

Extending full support of the government to resolve all issues being faced by the people of Jammu and Kashmir, Mr. Modi assured the delegation that the Centre was committed to the region’s economic development through extensive focus on infrastructure development and creating new investment opportunities in sectors such as tourism.

The delegation thanked the Prime Minister for his “unstinted support” and “untiring efforts” towards the development of the Union Territory, and appreciated the efforts of the government, security agencies and the people of Jammu & Kashmir towards maintaining peace and security in the region, the statement said.

Mr. Bukhari said the Prime Minister heard them patiently and promised to make all Central laws applicable in the Union Territory. The team requested Mr. Modi to release all leaders from detention, he said.

The Apni Party was formed on March 8 by Mr. Bukhari, former Finance Minister of the erstwhile State of J&K, along with 30 political leaders from various regional and national parties, to pitch for restoration of statehood and ensure domicile rights over land and jobs.

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