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SRINAGAR: Jammu and National Conference President Dr Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday welcomed the positive approach of Pakistan’s leadership on resolving long pending issues with government of India. Dr Farooq Abdullah who was speaking at the annual day celebrations of Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences at SKICC, Srinagar said that the Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent avowals on Indo-Pak bonhomie has rekindled the hope that a day will come when the people of Jammu & Kashmir will live in a free atmosphere. “I foresee a time when my collegues, friends and family members move around without security. It is perhaps for that day, god has kept me going. I wish that day comes when the two neighboring countries of India and Pakistan live in camaraderie,” he said.

Dr Farooq asserted that only democratically elected governments will advance the cause of development and will work for the socio-economic emancipation of the underprivileged.  “I look forward to elections for the state assembly at an earliest. Only a popular government can mitigate the mounting woes of the people. And it is the duty of people to elect honest people to the legislature,” he said.

Expressing his dismay over the attack on the secular visage of India, the NC President said, “Many powers that are inimical to the secular character of India are making bigoted attempts to polarize the people on religious lines to garner support. This I believe is dangerous for a country like India which belongs to all.” “People want answers for all those fanciful promises that were made by BJP. People cannot forget the ordeal that they had to undergo due to demonetization. Small business men and small enterprise holders too are at the receiving end due to the promulgation of GST,” he said.

Dr Farooq while applauding the professionalism and efforts of doctors of SKIMS institute said that the institute should take lead in research also. “It is the share effort of people who run this institution that will make it great. The other day I read that the research being done is India is not of good quality. SKIMS should take a lead in research and come up with cure for many diseases that are a source of agony for people. The institute should find cure for diseases like diabetes and cancer. It will earn laurels for the institute,” he said.

Dr Farooq Abdullah while addressing the annual day function allocated RS 1.00 Cr for the construction of auditorium at SKIMS. “I hope next year an elected government addresses the annual function in the very own auditorium of SKIMS Institute. I urge the Governor administration to render more funds for the construction of an auditorium facility within SKIMS,’ he said.

Talking to the media persons he said that there are forces that wanted to encroach upon the working autonomy of J&K Bank. “I fervidly trounced those efforts during my tenure as chief minister and we will continue to protect it,” he said.