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President prays for peace at Hazratbal
June 29, 2003 01:38 IST
President A P J Abdul Kalam on Saturday visited the Hazratbal shrine on the banks of Dal Lake and prayed for return of normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir.
"Islam is a religion of peace... Prophet Mohammed also preached peace in the world. Let peace come to all of us. When peace comes, people in Jammu and Kashmir will have happiness," he said in his speech at the shrine after having a glimpse of the holy relic of the Prophet.
Quoting from the Quran, the President stressed on the secular aspects of Islam. "What you do you are responsible for it; what I do I am responsible for it."
He said Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed had promised to convert the most revered shrine of the state into a full-fledged heritage centre. The shrine is at present managed by the Muslim Auqaf Trust, headed by former chief minister Farooq Abdullah.
"When I entered the Hazratbal shrine, I got inspired... I got divine feelings," the President said.
On his return from the shrine, Kalam decided to have a ride on a shikara (boat) up to Char Chinar, an island located in the middle of the Dal Lake.
The journey lasted 10 minutes, giving anxious moments to the security personnel.
Kalam had earlier travelled to Hazratbal through the Dal Lake route using a motor boat.
Later, at a forward post in Uri, the President helped himself to some jalebis, prepared by troops of the 12th infantry division.
The President envisioned India of 2020 saying it was 'faced with many challenges on religious, ideological and market fronts'.
"The challenges could be met by taking the country forward in education, health care, agriculture, food processing and Information Technology sectors," he said.
Kalam is the first President of the country to visit Uri situated on the LoC. He hoped that India with a population of over 100 crore, including 30 million children, would 'usher in an era of peace, progress and prosperity, allowing dignified and contented life to its citizens'.
More reports from Jammu and Kashmir
Read about: The Road to Peace | Kargil Crisis