Omar hits out at separatists

‘They Try To Disrupt Peace, Jeopardize Education Through Strikes’


Budgam, May 28: Hitting out at separatists for resorting to strikes, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Tuesday said the elements who try to disrupt peace should not play with the future of students by announcing frequent hartal calls. He also said the strikes don’t affect the government but put in jeopardy the career of thousands of students.
Chief Minister’s dig at the separatists comes at a time when Kashmir is relatively peaceful on violence front. Addressing a gathering at Patwav, in Central Kashmir’s Budgam district, after laying the foundation stone of satellite campus of Moulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), along with Union Human Resource Development Minister, Dr M M Pallam Raju, Omar said elements that disrupt peace are still active. “They (separatists) should understand that children are our future. They should not play with the future of students by resorting to frequent strikes. Hartals don’t affect me or my government,” the Chief Minister said. He was flanked by his father and Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Dr Farooq Abdullah and Finance Minister Abdur Rahim Rather.
Omar said the strikes put career of thousands of students in jeopardy. “Those resorting to strikes should desist from such things and keep politics away from education,” he said. He said in 2008, 2009 and 2010, education bore the brunt of strikes. “At this stage, there is peace but the elements that disrupt it are still active,” he said. The Chief Minister said J&K students have to compete at the national level. “There is a tough competition all around,” he said.
Omar while expressing gratitude to Union Human Resource Development Ministry for providing satellite campus of MANUU in Kashmir, said students belonging to every religion should study in the varsity. “Language has no religion. Governor N N Vohra reads his important speeches in Urdu language. Even, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reads his speeches in Urdu,” he said.  “We should not link languages with the religion. Our mindset that if somebody speaks Hindi that means he is Hindu and if somebody speaks Urdu he is a Muslim should change.”
He said the literacy rate of J&K was improving and efforts are on to compete with the national average.  He said before 1996, Kashmir’s education system was in doldrums. “The person who would attend the examination was someone else and the result was declared in favour of someone else. Situation was like Omar Abdullah was sitting in the exams and Farooq Abdullah was shown as pass,” the Chief Minister said. He said the people of Budgam district always used to complain that despite being closer to Srinagar, they were neglected by the respective governments.
“The reality is that we don’t treat Budgam separate from Srinagar. You were demanding Kashmir University campus, and today, you have got a campus of a national university,” Omar said. “I won’t say only one government, but different governments brought the train back on track after 1996. Now things are moving towards right direction.” The Chief Minister said he would enroll himself in MANUU to learn Urdu language in its true sense. “I was studying in a school where I could study Urdu till 5th standard only. Unfortunately, I can’t speak Urdu the way it should be,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Union HRD minister Pallam Raju said setting up of engineering colleges in J&K was need of the hour. “MANU is covering 150,000 students through distance education mode. In J&K education is progressing. The focus has to be on skill development courses,” Raju said.  He said 300 polytechnic colleges are in the pipeline for J&K. “We will also modernize the existing polytechnic colleges in J&K. “I would like to see Telegu department in MANU campus of Budgam. German language would be also taught here. We also want to build quality skill centers across J&K,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion MLA Budgam Aga Syed Ruhullah and MLA Khansahib sought reservation for jobs for the local youth in the MANU campus. “Locals should be given preference as far non-technical and class-fourth jobs are concerned,” the duo said in their separate speeches. Ruhullah also demanded setting up of a women’s degree college in Budgam district. Among others who were present on the occasion include Minister for Higher Education, Vice-Chancellor MANU Prof Muhammad Miyan, NC MLC Ali Muhammad Dar and former Higher Education Minister Abdul Gani Malik.

Lastupdate on : Tue, 28 May 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 28 May 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 29 May 2013 00:00:00 IST

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