Wed, Dec 7, 2016 | updated 03:14 AM IST

Kashmir delegation calls on PM Modi, seeks his 'personal initiative' to restore peace

Updated: Nov 05, 2016 18:23 IST

New Delhi [India], Nov. 5 (ANI): A 30 member delegation of the All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi today, where they conveyed their strong condemnation of the burning of schools in the Valley by anti-national elements and called for his personal initiative to restore peace in the state.

The All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference is an apex body of Panchayat leaders of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, which represents 4000 village Panchayats of the state, with 4000 Sarpanches and 29000 Panches.

The delegation was led by the Chairman of the All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference Shafiq Mir.

Members of the delegation briefed the Prime Minister on development issues concerning the State, and said that benefits of central assistance to the State have not reached the villages due to non-empowerment of the Panchayats, in line with the rest of the country.

They also submitted a memorandum and urged the Prime Minister to consider extension of the 73rd and 74th Amendments of the Constitution of India - which pertain to local bodies - to the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

They also demanded that elections to Panchayats and Urban Local Bodies in the State be held at the earliest, adding that elections held in 2011 had witnessed enthusiastic turnout of voters.

Extension of these Constitutional Provisions to the State would empower the Panchayats to undertake basic development activities in the rural areas, the delegation observed.

Members expressed hope that this would accelerate the development process in the State, and enable the people of the State to take benefit from various Central Government schemes.

The delegation apprised the Prime Minister of the prevailing situation in the State and strongly condemned the burning of schools by anti-national elements.

The body, which represents people at the grassroot level in Jammu and Kashmir, reiterated its faith in the democratic institutions and processes in the country.

Shafiq Mir said that a vast majority of the people of the State wanted a life of peace and dignity, adding that vested interests have exploited youngsters and are playing with their future.

The Prime Minister assured the delegation that the Union Government will look into their demands and further stressed that growth and development of the state is high on his agenda.

He added that development of the villages where a majority of people live, is vital to the overall economic development of the State and also reiterated his stress on a humanitarian approach, and said that 'Vikas' and 'Vishwas' will remain the cornerstones of the Union Government's development initiatives for the State of Jammu and Kashmir. (ANI)