Prez: Use resources for peace, prosperity

Jammu: Citing its immense potential in tourism and horticulture, President Pratibha Patil on Friday asked the people of Jammu and Kashmir to fully utilise the available resources for peace and prosperity of the state.

Addressing a gathering here, Patil said both Central and state governments had chalked out policies for the development of Jammu and Kashmir.

"I am sure that Jammu and Kashmir with its resources, its potential and the willingness of its people to work hard together, will move forward on the path of development, prosperity and peace. The state and the Central government have enunciated policies and programmes towards this end. The objective is to secure a better life where each one can have the opportunity to grow," she said.

"Jammu and Kashmir has tremendous potential in horticulture, floriculture, handicraft, tourism and Information Technology, among others. I am sure full advantage will be taken by the people and particularly the youth in Jammu and Kashmir of these potentials," the President said after presenting the `Dogra Ratan` awards here.

Appreciating the picturesque beauty of the state and hospitable nature of its people, Patil also extended warmest greetings to the people of Jammu and Kashmir "who over the years have impressed all, with the resilience" demonstrated by them.

Addressing the function, state Governor N N Vohra emphasised the need for preserving and showcasing the rich cultural heritage of Jammu region. "There is need for preserving and effectively showcasing the rich composite cultural heritage of Jammu region, particularly the miniature paintings of the Basohli school," he said.

He said the Jammu region, popularly called the Duggar Desh, had remained an important catchment area for the Army and other defence services. "It has, from World War I onwards, till today, produced a very large number of officers and men whose valour has brought laurels to the State and the country."

Referring to Dr Karan Singh, Chairman, Indian Council for Cultural Relations, the Governor said that among the Dogras, he is truly an iconic personality. The Governor congratulated the recipients of the Dogra Ratan awards.

The ICCR chairman said that Jammu and Kashmir has a glorious composite cultural heritage which needs to be preserved and promoted in a big way.