Locals in Kashmir usher 2009 with prayers for peace and prosperity

January 2nd, 2009 - 10:02 pm ICT by ANI  

By Parvez Butt
Srinagar, Jan.2 (ANI): As large number of people around the country cherished being in holidaying mood or spending a good time with friends and families, Kashmiris in Srinagar opted to pray for peace and harmony in the Jammu and Kashmir region on the first day of 2009.
Srinagar witnessed over two month-long agitation and violence over Amarnath land transfer row, which brought the life almost to standstill here. On the first day of the year, people prayed to the almighty for a peaceful year ahead.
“We prayed that the new year brings peace and prosperity for the people here. The situation improves here. Businesses prosper, tourists start coming here again and the people prosper,” said Ghulam Rasool, a local.
The agitation had blown into a communal issue and at one time looked threatening to divide the State.
The agitation cost Congress-led government to fall and the State had to put under the Governors rule.
Life in the Jammu and Kashmir region had been badly affected, as people suffered huge losses in business due to the frequent curfews clamped by the authorities in the region to keep the violence in check.
Tourism sector, which is the backbone of the State was also paralysed following violence and agitations. It cost heavy losses to people in Kashmir. Residents here are still struggling to bring their businesses back on track. They hope that the economy picks up in 2009.
“We hope that the coming year brings prosperity for the people in the region. Last year, the economy and trade in the state suffered a lot due to the strike. We faced a lot of difficulties. We suffered huge losses in business. We hope things would take a turn for the better. Now there is also a new government in the state and hope that the new year brings a lot of good things and prosperity for the people by grace of god,” said Mohammad Shafi Qadri, another local resident.
Besides, a new government which is due to take the charge of Jammu and Kashmir in a few days, has also revived hopes of a good time ahead here. Defying the boycott call given by the separatists, the locals elected a new government amid hopes that it will work for their betterment and development. (ANI)

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