On his first visit to Kashmir as President, Pranab Mukherjee today said no problems are ever resolved by violence and the healing process must be nurtured with love, compassion and patience while important issues need speedy resolution.
Touching on the urgent need for greater tolerance in society, he said there are grievances and many important issues need deft handling and speedy resolution.
"The Government of India and the State Government of J and K are determined to ensure that every Kashmiri lives with dignity having equal rights and equal opportunities," he said in his address at the 18th convocation of University of Kashmir.
This is first visit to Jammu and Kashmir after assuming the office of President.
Addressing the students, Mukherjee said he would like to take this opportunity while being among the "bright, young" people to highlight the relevance and urgent need for greater tolerance "in our society".
"No problems are ever resolved by violence. It only aggravates the pain and the hurt on every side. The healing process must be nurtured with love, compassion and patience," he said.
Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Vice Chancellor Talat Ahmed were among the host of dignitaries present on the occasion.
"I am aware that there are grievances. Many important issues need deft handling and speedy resolution," the President said.
He said India of tomorrow, achieved through inclusive growth, offers enormous opportunities for the youth of Kashmir if they only seize them.
"Do not lose any more time. The whole world is rapidly transforming itself. We in India should not be left behind. The contributions of young Kashmiris are critical for India’s advancement to progress.
"Let the dark days of violence and conflict be left behind. Let a new dawn emerge. It is the time to move ahead with faith in our collective future and confidence in the largest democracy in the world, where rule of law prevails, robust institutions function and the Constitution serves as the Supreme Law," Mukherjee said.
He said let Jammu and Kashmir lead the way in the building of a new future for India. Let it set an example to the rest of India and the world by showing how the entire region can be transformed into a zone of peace, stability and prosperity.
"Let Jammu and Kashmir regain its historical role as a center of learning, a place frequented by saints and religious scholars, a land known for its diversity and harmony, a fulcrum of trade and commerce with our neighbours," he said.
The President said institutions of higher education, with their emphasis on sound value systems and character building can play an effective role in developing a greater sense of responsibility and a rational approach to all issues.
"In this context, the duty of teachers is to inculcate in their students a balance – of knowledge and skills with the moral and aesthetic values," he said.
Mukherjee also called upon the youth of Kashmir to take the lead in forging the future of our nation. In every field of activity – be it business, industry, trade, education or culture, India is a nation on the move.
"A billion people marching forward led by the ideas, enterprise and energy of its predominantly young population," he said.
"I am confident that the young people of India will build a strong and powerful nation - a nation that is politically mature and economically strong, a nation whose people enjoy both a high quality of life as well as justice, fundamental rights and equality," he said.