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PM unveils J&K job bonanza

Prime minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday talked tough on terror, renewed his call for peace in Jammu and Kashmir and cleared the air on dialogue with separatists. But what enlivened hearts of thousands of educated youth on the last leg of his J&K visit, was his promise to lift the freeze on government jobs.
PTI | By Arun Joshi/Zorawar Singh Jamwal, Jammu
PUBLISHED ON NOV 19, 2004 01:46 AM IST

Prime minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday talked tough on terror, renewed his call for peace in Jammu and Kashmir and cleared the air on dialogue with separatists. But what enlivened hearts of thousands of educated youth on the last leg of his J&K visit, was his promise to lift the freeze on government jobs.

The PM announced lifting of the ban on creation of government jobs and fresh recruitment in Jammu and Kashmir. Addressing a large gathering at the Mini Stadium Parade Grounds here, Singh said: "Every year 10,000 youths would be recruited to various wings of the security forces, which would help absorb the unemployed to some extent."

"I also know that there has always been shortage of power and drinking water supply. Both the state and central governments would jointly come out with a plan that would create surplus power that could light up each and every house of the state," Singh said.

Talking to reporters in Jammu, the PM said his call for a dialogue with the Hurriyat was an invite in itself. Responding to a query on the government's failure to send a specific invite to the Hurriyat, he said: "If I am open to talks without conditions, why should others lay a condition. That's not fair." Asked whether proper dialogue could take place with Pakistan in view of his Srinagar statement, he said "what is not negotiable is redrawing of borders and a second Partition."

"Those who want to meet political ends through militancy would not be able to succeed. Everybody is aware of how badly militancy has hit the development of the state in the past 15 years. Now, it would be ensured that the state is back on the rail of peace, normalcy and development," he said.

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PM’s healing touch

** Ban on creation of govt jobs and fresh recruitment in J&K lifted

** State, Centre to ensure creation of enough power to light up each house

** Eight new degree colleges to come up in state, one each in Akhnoor, Samba, R.S. Pura and Kathua

** Four new industrial training institutes for women — in Doda, Poonch, Rajouri and Udhampur

** Steps to bring J&K on pilgrimage map

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