Omar proves his mettle
SAHIL RAINA COMMENTS ON THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF CHIEF MINISTER IN THE TWO YEARS HE HAD IN THE OFFICE
Never in the history of Jammu and Kashmir has survived any head of the State beleaguered with political upheaval and months-long unabated agitational politics, claiming more than a hundred human lives as the youngest Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah came out triumphant controlling the situation and bringing back normalcy ‘brick by brick’ in his own words.
Proving all political pandits false and media analysts incorrect, Omar proved his mettle and capability of facing challenges cool-headedly and bravely. He absorbed every kinds of criticism without any reaction and stood firm on his legs steering the ship clear of tumult waters.
The situation in the Valley from June to October witnessing bloodshed could have unnerved even most experienced and astute politicians but the sagacity and prudence of young and energetic Omar surfaced and he emerged victorious catching the bull by the horns.
Indeed the last two years belong to Omar Abdullah who had to face on new wave of disturbance in the wake of Shopian incident and killing of a teenager boy Tufail Mattoo.
Big question marks were put against the handling of situations by Omar-led Government at the State and the Centre level by political rivals and even so called well wishers. Omar was left alone to spearhead the struggle for peace with determination. Situation sometimes turned so serious and volatile that one could only see Omar between the collapse of a democratic system and the restoration of normalcy.
Where has gone the hue and cry raised by critics and others during that period of disturbance in Srinagar and other towns in the Valley? Why debates and interaction programmes are not now being organized by the channels and why newspapers do not publish special articles to narrate the success story of which Omar, once ruthlessly criticized, is the hero? Has the society become so thankless or it only sees the dark side of the moon? Where are those politicians, thinkers, analysts, writers and commentators who left no occasion to criticize Omar during that period of disturbance? Why are not they say a word about the success of this young man described as ‘hope of youth’ by European Union?
I don't mean to eulogize Omar but remind the society that when we are out to criticize anybody on any count we should be sincere enough to also speak a word for his outstanding performance.
I remember the days of stone-pelting agitation in Valley when persons at the helm of administrative responsibilities had raised their hands up and were waiting for fall of the government. I also remember the days when power thirsty politicians were trying to sprinkle fuel on the fire, I also remember when so called well wishers and friends were only giving sermons to Omar. I also remember the days when Omar was alone fighting on all fronts with a hope and belief that one day he will overcome the situation. He reached out people in difficult times in every district and put forth his viewpoint to convince them that political problems can be settled politically for which he has batted always and continue to work in this direction. Hats off to Omar, he has ultimately done it. Now we see talk of talks everywhere. Omar also deserves a part on his back for being able to get ice broken on AFSPA and reduction of foot prints of forces. Now there is seriousness on the part of Central Government to engage separatists in dialogue, talk about troops cut and human face to AFSPA.
In fact, Omar had right from taking over Chief Minister highlighted the need for political addressing of K-issue politically engaging separatists and even Pakistan.
Omar raised the question of applicability of AFSPA in non disturbed areas of Jammu and Kashmir in the Legislative Assembly and advocated its gradual removal, despite all odds and opposition by top brass of the forces. Omar was able to convince the Union Government on this count. His doctrine of ‘accession not merger’ of Jammu and Kashmir to India, explained in Legislative Assembly by him, revived the National Conference’s stand on the issue and paved the way for implementation of his party’s autonomy document.
Omar is young, but his grey hair spoke high of his capability and courage of highlighting issues in right forums at right times.
Here I have to analyze two years of Omer-led Government. However, the atmosphere during these two years was so unpredictable that it effected everything from politics to economics. Economic activities got eclipsed and consequently less reported in the media.
Flagging unemployment crisis as most important concerns of his government, Omar Abdullah underlined five important sectors of health, road communication, education, power and water supply as focused areas in his government’s policy planning.
Introduction of Sher-i-Kashmir Employment and Welfare Programme for Youth (SKEWPY) was a new and innovative initiative of Omar Abdullah-led government. The programme envisages job for about 4 lakh skilled and unskilled youth in the government and private sectors in five years. During the last two years about 25,000 educated youth have been absorbed in government jobs while 43,000 young persons are being engaged during the current year besides, providing voluntary service allowance to over 16,000 youth. As many as 3000 Kashmiri Migrants were provided jobs in the Valley to encourage return of Kashmiri Pandits to their native place. More than 8000 youth were trained in different skills.
The government constituted Jammu and Kashmir State Oversees Employment Corporation Limited to explore job market for J&K youth in the global market. Omar has laid stress on fixing yearly targets by the Corporation for placement of skilled youth in the global market.
For the first time yet another innovative step of Omar led government was awarding of 690 MW Ratli Hydro Electro Power project on the basis of tariff bid. The Omar led government in another innovative measure constituted Chenab Valley Power Projects Limited Company and approved joint venturing in 1000 MW Pakal Dul, 60 MW Kiru and 520 MW Kawar projects with NHPC and PTC.
The Chief Minister concentrated on constant public rapport. His Awami Mulakats, creation of Grievance Cell in Chief Minister’s Secretariat and directions to Administrative heads and Ministerial colleagues to hold regular public hearing are good steps to reach out people. The initiation of video conferencing with District Development Commissioners and District Superintendents of Police keeps him posted with developmental activities and helps in regular monitoring of performance of the administration.
The running of Jammu and Kashmir State is definitely an uphill task and Omar has so far proved his mettle to handle situation and move a head confidently.
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Lastupdate on : Wed, 19 Jan 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 19 Jan 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 20 Jan 2011 00:00:00 IST
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