Army Chief meets religious preachers from J&K


New Delhi: Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat on Tuesday interacted with religious preachers of different faiths from Resai and Rajouri areas of Jammu and Kashmir and assured them of all support for the development of the region.

During his interaction with the priests, clerics and granthis, Rawat exhorted them to work towards maintaining peace in the region and promised full support to them towards fulfilling their requirements.

Gen Rawat said the religious preachers should recommend what they need for the development of their region so that it can be forwarded to the Centre for speedy execution.

The Army chief said now that Jammu and Kashmir is a union territory, it will be easier to monitor the work recommended by them.

He said the group also reflected how different religions in Jammu and Kashmir live in harmony.

The group comprising 15 clerics, four pandits and two granthis demanded that employment and tourism should be prioritised.

Gen Rawat said steps like an employment rally will be organised in the region for recruitment of the youth in armed forces.

Mohammad Sadiq Malik, a cleric from Draman village in Rajouri, said he demanded Army or Kendriya Vidyalaya schools in his area.

Tilak Raj, also from Rajouri, said he wants more employment opportunities in the region. The Army chief, he said, has assured all cooperation.

The group is on a tour to north India as part of ‘Operation Sadbhavana’. This capacity building tour, the first of its kind, showcases the secularism and unity of Kashmiris working towards development of the region, the Army said.

The total duration of the visit from November 2-9 includes visits to Wagah Attari Border, Gobindgarh fort, Golden Temple at Amritsar, India Gate, Humayun’s Tomb, Akshardham Temple, Bangla Sahib Gurudwara, Red Fort, Jama Masjid and Select City Walk Mall in Delhi, and Ajmer Sharif Dargah and Pushkar Lake in Ajmer.