The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Governor sees year-end peace

Jammu, April 27: Governor Girish Chandra Saxena today said Kashmir would be back to normal by the end of the year, and that he had “inputs to that effect”.

Without elaborating on the “inputs”, the Governor said: “I believe that by the end of this year, there would be a situation which people want and deserve.”

Saxena, who will be completing his five-year term on May 2, said the international war on terrorism combined with a decline in the motivation level of terrorists slipping in across the border is paving the way for a situation in which guns will be pushed to the background and dialogue and peace will prosper.

Talking to reporters today, the Governor pointed to a “growing realisation that nothing can be taken away from India by the use of force, or by any other means, and the whole struggle launched against India is an exercise in futility”.

Saxena, known to be careful with his words, has made such an observation for the first time. He has had two stints as Governor of Jammu and Kashmir — the first one from May 1990 to March 1993 and second from May 1998 to May 2003.

Saxena ruled the state with full legislative and executive powers during his first tenure when the state was under President’s rule. He has also worked with two chief ministers — Farooq Abdullah and Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.

Saxena said there has been a change in situation after the October elections. However, he added, previous polls, too, had seen people expressing their will and last year’s Assembly elections strengthened their view that the democratic institutions in India and Jammu and Kashmir, in particular, are active.

The Governor said Mufti’s “healing touch policy” should focus on healing the wounds of the victims of militancy.

Talks doomed: Omar

National Conference (NC) president Omar Abdullah today said the Centre’s interlocutor N.N. Vohra’s mission was “bound to be doomed” as he was holding dialogue only with the mainstream political parties.

“The NC had said earlier that the Centre should not repeat its mistakes in Jammu and Kashmir.... The ongoing talks should have been different from the previous ones.... But again Vohra is talking to the same set of people like the NC, Congress.... He should have talked to others also,” Omar said.

“Talks with those sections other than mainstream political parties are necessary for making the mission successful,” he told reporters.

“Hence, the exercise undertaken by Vohra in Kashmir is heading towards failure like earlier missions of the Centre.... It is bound to be doomed,” he said.

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