JAMMU, March 09, 2021: Underscoring the pivotal role of youth in further strengthening intra- regional and inter-religious bonding in sensitive Jammu and Kashmir, National Conference Provincial President Mr Devender Singh Rana today said Jammu Declaration could be a way forward to achieve this objective, as it has no regional or religious bearings.
“Jammu Declaration is a vision to reestablish a cohesive and inclusive Jammu and Kashmir with a favourable socio-political environment for all to grow and flourish with dignity and without any discrimination”, Mr Rana said while addressing a group of National Conference Students Union (NCSU) at Sher-e-Kashmir Bhavan here this afternoon.
Former minister and senior leader of the National Conference from Kargil Mr Qamar Ali Akhoon also spoke on the occasion.
Mr Rana sought suggestions from the youth to broad-base the declaration in order to cover the people in all the regions and sub-regions and strive for fulfillment of their peculiar aspirations. No region should even remotely nurture any feeling of dominance by another region or deprivation of any sort. The thrust of the declaration would be to instill a sense of confidence by clearing the cloud of trust deficit that has engulfed the inherent pluralistic ethos of this part of the country; he said and hoped that the people will rise above party politics and contribute towards achieving the objective of harmonious society.
“Peace and tranquility are co-related with harmony and trust between the peoples, which has been a hallmark of Jammu and Kashmir from times immemorial”, Mr Rana said and added that this glorious heritage has to be promoted and sustained to guide the generations to prosper and progress. He said the declaration reflects the great and assimilative culture of Jammu, which has withstood the test of times and provided umbrella to people of shades and walks.
The Provincial President also wished Jammu and Kashmir to grow as a model of harmony and inclusiveness for strengthening the idea of India, which encompasses different faiths and ethnicities. “Let there be no discrimination on the basis of religion, caste, creed or colour”, he said and exhorted the youth to come forward and give a big start to the Jammu Declaration.
He strongly pitched for initiating effective confidence building measures; between three regions of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, within the regions and their sub-regions; between religious and ethnic groups and between different shades of opinion. Intra-regional and inter-region dialogue based on mutual respect and love has assumed immense significance in the wake of misplaced suspicions gaining ground across the country. Therefore, a collective effort is needed to find out the genesis of the unfounded suspicions and to suggest ways and means for course correction. He said sooner such initiatives are set in motion, the better it would be for heralding a new era of trust, understanding and spirit of inclusiveness among peoples.
Recalling the age-old bonds between the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, Senior leader Mr Qamar Ali Akhoon said the spirit of unity and amity has to be further strengthened and youth can play their important role in this regard.
Mr Akhoon said this part of the country has been a proud abode of Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists and Christians, the spirit that has made J&K distinct and unique in the rest of the country. “This spirit needs to be sustained”, he added.
Prominent among those present on the occasion included Iftikhar Ahmed Choudhry, Sajid Malik, Harshvardhan Singh, Jarnail Singh, Amna Mattoo, Masarat Malik, Mehak Sharma, Arunpal Singh, Shaida Maqsood, Arun Singh, Chahat Om, Avnitka Mehra, Adnan Bhatt, Manohar Khajuria, Shahnawaz, Nawaz Ahmed, Bihari Lal, Raj Kumar, Tahir Choudhry and others.