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Kashmir is a complex problem, says new governor

By Onkar Singh in New Delhi
June 11, 2008 10:50 IST
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N N Vohra, the first bureaucrat to be appointed as the governor of Jammu and Kashmir in 18 years, told that he expected the Centre to formally announce his appointment by Thursday.

The government has asked Vohra to hold talks with all the political parties and prepare a comprehensive report on the steps that need to be taken to improve the situation in the troubled state.

"The tasks before us are tremendous. Kashmir is a complex problem and we have to deal with the legacy of 60 years, which has been left behind, at the administrative level or otherwise," Vohra pointed out.

Vohra will succeed Lieutenant General S K Sinha, whose term expired last week.

"I will take over only when the government formally announces my appointment," said the soft-spoken bureaucrat.
Interestingly, Dr Manmohan Singh had rejected the proposal to appoint Vohra as the governor of Jammu and Kashmir in 2004.

This time, "Dr Singh thought that the time is ripe for Vohra's appointment," revealed a senior bureaucrat.

In 2003, the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led National Democratic Alliance had appointed the former home secretary as the interlocutor for J&K. Vohra had succeeded in persuading the separatist All Party Hurriyat Conference to hold talks with then Home Minister L K Advani.

Vohra has held several important posts related to national security including home secretary, defence secretary and principal secretary to the Prime Minister. He also received the Padma Vibhushan earlier this year.

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Onkar Singh in New Delhi