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Khaki is better than olive green: Karra

Tariq Hameed Karra says withdrawal of troops would bring a greater sense of security among J&K people, reports Faisul Yaseen.

india Updated: Feb 14, 2007 15:56 IST

Finance Minister Tariq Hameed Karra on Wednesday said that withdrawal of troops and quashing of their special powers would bring a greater sense of security among the people in Jammu and Kashmir.

Karra who also holds the portfolios of ministries of planning, law and parliamentary affairs feels that when olive green is around it is not the sense of normalisation.

"Khaki is better than olive green," Karra said indicating that the takeover of the police from the troops would do a world of good for boosting the confidence among the people of the state about the ongoing peace process.

Karra's Peoples Democratic Party recently created a stir in the state after the party's patron and former chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and all legislators wrote to the Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad to withdraw their security and in return talk to New Delhi for demilitrisation of the state.

Karra who this year chalked out an early budget for the first time also tabled the first ever Economic Survey Report of Jammu and Kashmir said that the demilitrisation of the state would mean a return of peace to the state. "And once peace comes, the state can focus on developing energy resources and employment generation," which he said were the biggest challenges confronting the state.

"Unemployment is a big problem. There is a huge resentment among the people due to it. This problem is a cause of bigger problems," he said.

Karra, who had asked the India Inc to play a participatory role in the economic development of the state, said that after demilitrisation, people involved in anti-insurgency movement would also understand that the stakes in peace and normalisation are higher for them also.

"Being a part of normalisation would open economic opportunities for them inside the state as well as outside in different parts of the country," Karra added.

Karra feels that the withdrawal of the troops from the state and the involvement of the people of the state with stakes in peace for ringing normalisation would send a strong signal to the international community that the Kashmiri people are involved in the peace process with their hearts.

Karra's party has constantly been demanding the withdrawal of the troops and their takeover by the police even when the party was leading the coalition government in the state, now led by the Congress.

PDP wants police to raise some 70 more battalions and take over from the troops in the state on the pattern of the Punjab, where police took over from troops after the decline of insurgency.

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First Published: Feb 14, 2007 15:56 IST