Jammu and Kashmir Governor Lieutenant General (Retired) S K Sinha on Monday said that the relentless pursuit of peace by the authorities has ensured the decline in the number of civilian deaths in the valley in 2007.
Addressing the joint budget session of the bicameral state legislature in Jammu, Sinha said, "The consolidation and continuity of development and peace process had been the hallmark of 2007".
"The last one year has been truly satisfying for my government. The year 2007 witnessed the lowest number of militancy related incidents and civilian killings. We acknowledge the excellent work done by the police, the paramilitary forces and the army with the cooperation of the people," Sinha said.
The governor also lauded the "total evacuation of government buildings by the army. Buildings housing important departments like education, health etc have been vacated by the army."
"On the request of the state government, and with the personal intervention of the chief minister, the Ministry of Defence has agreed to increase the rent of the land hired by the army. This was a long pending issue," he said.
Reiterating that the commitment of the government towards the protection of human rights remains firm and unshakeable, the governor said, "We have practically achieved the goal of zero tolerance to violation of human rights and prompt action has been taken whenever complaints have been received".
The governor said that steps were being taken to open the Kargil-Skardu road, as recommended by the working group on 'Strengthening Relations Across the Line of Control'.
"Notwithstanding the difficulties and recent unfortunate events in Pakistan, it is our fond hope that the governments of India and Pakistan work together to build closer relationship between the people of the two countries to usher in an era of stability, peace and prosperity in the sub-continent," Sinha added.
Describing the third roundtable conference convened by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh as a historical event, Sinha said that a committee headed by the Union Home Secretary and comprising senior representatives of the state would oversee and monitor the recommendations of the working groups.