Srinagar: "Let the dark days of violence and conflict be left behind and a let a new dawn emerge," President Pranab Mukherjee told the people of Jammu and Kashmir, promising to ensure that every Kashmiri lives with dignity.
Reaching out to people who have suffered decades of violence, Mukherjee candidly acknowledged that they have grievances.
"Many important issues need deft handling and speedy resolution," he said, adding that both the Central and state governments were determined to ensure that people of Kashmir live with dignity having equal rights and equal opportunities.
Mukherjee made these remarks at the 18th convocation of the Kashmir University during his first visit to the state since assuming office of the President two months ago.
In a meaningful address to the citizens of the valley, which is gradually recovering from the violence that engulfed it since 1990, the President underlined the urgent need for greater tolerance in the society.
"No problems are ever resolved by violence. It only aggravates the pain and the hurt on every side. The healing process must be nurtured with love, compassion and patience."
Contrary to reports that some students might create trouble, the 90-minute function went off smoothly.
Scores of students received degrees and gold medals amidst thunderous applause in a packed hall from the audience that included state Governor N N Vohra, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Members of the state cabinet, legislatures, judges, scholars and students.
The security at the university campus was heavy even as there was a partial strike in parts of the city called by hardline Hurriyat chief Syed Ali Shah Geelani.