J&K Governor hopes Pakistan's new leadership will end terror agenda

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Srinagar : Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra said on Wednesday that he hoped that the new government in Pakistan will realize the futility of continuing the agenda of terrorism in the state.

Addressing the main Independence Day function at the Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium here, Vohra said: "I hope the new leadership in Islamabad will realize the futility of continuing with the terrorist agenda in Jammu and Kashmir.

"Our Prime Minister has tried many times during the last four years to extend the hand of friendship to Pakistan but there had been no positive response so far."

Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan is set to take oath as Prime Minister of Pakistan after he led his party PTI to victory in general elections.

Vohra alleged that Pakistan attempted to infiltrate an unusually large number of trained terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir.

"Our Army and police forces carried out effective operations and neutralized perhaps the largest number of terrorists in the past many years.

"At the same time, we also suffered loss of security personnel and civilian lives."

The Governor expressed concern that Kashmiri youths, even some pursuing professional courses, were joining the militant ranks.

"I appeal to teachers, parents, religious and social leaders to use their influence to ensure that these youths return home.

"At the same time, it is encouraging that some of them have returned to their homes.

Vohra said the policy of confrontation would help nobody and it was only through dialogue and deliberation that problems can be addressed.

He said ever since he took over the reins of power after the imposition of Governor's Rule in the state, he had been trying to ensure that the administration worked with accountability, speed and transparency.

"The establishment of basic democratic institutions is the top priority of my administration," he said adding that urban local body elections and those to the Panchayats in the state would be held before the year-end.

Contingents of police, paramilitary forces, school children and NCC marched passed the podium where the Governor took salute after unfurling the national flag.

Former Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti attended the event as did the high court judges as well as senior civil and police officers.

A thick blanket of security was thrown around the venue where entry was regulated.

Separatists called for a protest shutdown on Wednesday.

The protest adversely affected life across the Kashmir Valley as shops were shut and public transport was suspended.

But officially-sponsored flag hoisting functions and parades were held at all district headquarters in the Kashmir Valley.