Former Kashmiri Chief Minister and National Conference (NC) president Dr Farooq Abdullah said last week that repressive measures and arrests in Kashmir won’t yield any results, saying that dialogue is the only way to resolve issues.
While addressing a gathering at his residence in Srinagar on Friday ( March 08), Farooq said that arresting people will not resolve anything in a sensitive State like Jammu and Kashmir where situation is always on the boil. “Such measures will not help in creating a peaceful atmosphere here. It is only dialogue that holds the way out”, he said.
The NC president said that repressive measures won’t prove effective to normalize situation in Kashmir. “Banning socio-religious outfits also won’t help. During Jagmohan’s time JeI was banned, their schools and institutions were closed. What was then Governor able to achieve by banning JeI? Eventually, they had to hold parleys with them. It is therefore reconciliation and rapprochement only that will solve all the contentious issues,” he said.
“BJP is trying to create a rift between different communities. Such a trend will prove detrimental to the pluralistic ethos of our country. India belongs to all and we all have to live in peace and harmony with each other”, Abdullah said.
The NC president said that minorities in the country feel threatened and alienated. “Minorities in the country are feeling alienated and threatened more than ever. It’s for the PM to address these concerns immediately and put a sense of security among all,” he added.
The former Chief Minister expressed concern over the deteriorating India, Pakistan relations. “It is for India and Pakistan to maintain cordial atmosphere. It is our State which becomes the battle-field for both the countries. People of our State have to suffer most in view of increased animosity between India and Pakistan”, he added.
“Is is high time for both India and Pakistan to find a solution to the protracted political issue of J&K by giving autonomy to J&K on either sides of the divide”, he said. Omar Abdullah criticises delaying of J&K assembly polls
Meanwhile, National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah Wednesday criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not giving the people of Jammu and Kashmir “the right to choose government” in the state.
He also attacked the BJP-led central government for “consciously disenfranchising” the people of J&K by not holding the assembly elections on time.
Omar was reacting to Modi’s appeal to people to vote in large numbers to increase participation in the upcoming parliamentary polls.
“Dear @narendramodi Sahib, it is good to see you appealing to famous people to increase voter turnout however at the same time your government has consciously disenfranchised people in J&K by not holding Assembly elections on time,” Omar said in a series of tweet.
Earlier this week, the election commission of India (ECI) announced seven-phase parliamentary polls, but decided not to hold assembly elections in J&K, which is presently under the president’s rule.
In another tweet, Omar, the former chief minister, wrote that the right to choose an elected government, as opposed to being governed by a handpicked nominee of the central government, is the “hallmark of the sort of democracy you (the PM) are tweeting about”.
“Please give us our democratic right to choose our own government,” Omar wrote.
The deferment of the state polls has come in for sharp criticism from state’s mainstream political parties.
On March 10, Omar had said this deferment shows that “PM Modi has surrendered to Pakistan, to the militants and to the Hurriyat”.
Omar had also referred to the “assurances” given by union home minister Rajnath Singh on three occasions in the past for providing all resources for simultaneous polls. “What happened to these assurances?” Omar put the question.
“All parties are in favour of holding simultaneous (LS and state assembly) polls. Environment is conducive for Lok Sabha polls but not state polls in J&K?” he said on March 11.
Mehbooba Mufti slams New Delhi
Another former chief minister and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti slammed the New Delhi for delaying the elections.
“It is very dangerous to keep the state in the hands of unelected representatives of the Centre as it will further complicate the problems in the state,” she had said.
Delaying the assembly polls would sow the “seeds of suspicion” among people about “designs” of the government of India, she had said, seeking immediate review of the decision.
Addressing a gathering of PDP workers to kick-start her party’s campaign for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections Mehbooba said that whenever the Lok Sabha elections are round the corner, Kashmiris “are made scapegoats”.
“In 2014, when the Congress party was in power at the Centre, they executed Afzal Guru to gain the sympathy of the people of India. Similarly, the BJP has launched a crackdown against the Hurriyat leaders and banned Jamaat-e-Islami, while the NIA has summoned Mirwaiz Umar Farooq”.
She said that PDP has always “stood for the honour and rights” of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
She said her father launched the PDP to “make Kashmir a bridge between India and Pakistan”.