Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik gave a press conference to apprise people of the situation in the valley.
Speaking on the suspension of communication lines in the Kashmir region like phones and the internet, the governor said that it would continue for another 10-12 days. He went on to say that communication lines majorly help ‘terrorists, Pakistanis, for mobilising and indoctrination’. He went on to say that ‘this (communication channels) in a way was a weapon against us, hence it has been stopped’.
The governor started off by saying that the decision taken with respect to the former-state-now-Union Territory was to ‘open the doors’ of development of its people. He further added that now that the decision has been taken in this regard, the objective of the government is work to show the results in as few as 6 months.
Responding to the allegations of a healthcare crisis, he said that there is no shortage of medicines and other essentials.
He also said that transport facilities via road and air both have been smoothened. With respect to development, he said, a major announcement is to be made in the one-two days.
Speaking of employment opportunities, Governor said that about 50,000 jobs will be made available for the youth in the next three months in the ‘largest recruitment drive’. He asked the youth to participate in it. He also promised opening institutes for both primary and secondary education, including two medical colleges.
On being asked on how long would it take for normalcy to return to the valley and also about the detention of the Kashmir leadership, the governor said, “I have gone to jail 30 times, whoever goes to jail will come out shining as a future leader. They can take the political benefit of detentions in future. Don’t you want new political leaders to emerge in Kashmir?”
This rather unusual draw a round of laughter from those present in the conference.
He also took this as an opportunity to take a dig at Rahul Gandhi. Malik called Gandhi a ‘politically juvenile’.
“The party’s (Congress) stand on the issue of Article 370 is not clear. I am not supposed to say this, but I am telling you, in the next elections, their opponents need not say anything, just that they are supporters of Article 370. People will thrash them with shoes,” he said.
When asked about the return of normalcy, governor Malik said, “Leave few things on Allah. Normalcy will return slowly, we must not rush into things.”