Centre recognises political grievances of Kashmiris

Jammu: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday said the Centre recognises the genuine political and emotional grievances of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and was willing to discuss all issues that have a bearing on the peace and dignity of the people under a constitutional framework.

"We will always keep the interest of people of Jammu and Kashmir in our minds. We are willing to discuss all issues that have bearing on peace, dignity and well-being of the people of Jammu and Kashmir," he said speaking at the convocation ceremony of the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Sciences and Technology here.

"There is no way forward but a sustained dialogue and resolution of all problems under a constitutional framework that I believe has the flexibility to accommodate honourable and durable solutions for all", he said.

Referring to the initiative taken by the Centre in J&K, the Prime Minister said the visit of an all-party delegation to the state last year was intended at bringing about a national consensus on some important problems.

"We recognise that there are genuine political, social and emotional grievances of the people. We are trying honestly to address these issues," he said.

The problems of Jammu and Kashmir are complex and each region of the state – whether it is Kashmir, Jammu or Ladakh- have their own problems which require attention, he said.

The Prime Minister said a group of interlocutors was appointed to facilitate a continuous dialogue with all sections of the people in the state.

Regarding development in J&K, he said, "As a part of our efforts to promote balanced development of Jammu and Kashmir, the Centre has set up special Task Forces on Jammu and Ladakh regions".

While the reports of these task forces are being considered in consultation with the state government, the Centre has already made a budget provision of Rs 250 crore for implementation of the identified projects, he said.

"I am happy that state government has committed itself to early conduct of panchayat elections," he said, adding this will deepen the routes of democracy and ensure greater public participation in governance.

"But these bodies can only function effectively if there is adequate provision of funds, function and functionaries. I urge the state government to take early action in this regard", he said.