National Conference Working President Mr. Omar Abdullah on Saturday said the need for New Delhi to start a comprehensive political dialogue both with various stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir as well as with Pakistan was unquestionable and crucial in order to achieve sustainable peace. Addressing a massive party convention in Kupwara on Saturday, Mr. Omar Abdullah asked New Delhi to change its rigid stance and adopt a nuanced, humane policy of engagement rather than treating a political issue through law and order mechanisms. Speaking in Kupwara, the NC Working President said the PDP-BJP experiment in J&K had turned out to be monumental political failure that had wreaked havoc with peace and stability in the State and had also brought about a complete collapse of the administrative machinery rendering developmental works defunct. “There is absolutely no alternative to political engagement.
New Delhi needs to realize that it has to talk to various stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir and also resume the dialogue process with Pakistan if it wants to see normalcy and peace in Kashmir. When we met the Prime Minister and the Home Minister during the course of the current unrest, we asked the Central Government to initiate a process of political engagement with various stakeholders in the State and also resume the dialogue process with Pakistan without any further delay. We asked the Central Government to realize that neighbours cannot afford perpetual hostility and peace was the only sustainable option. Reminding the Government of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s efforts and policy viz-a-viz Kashmir, we asked them to adopt a similar policy of reconciliation and resolution rather than pushing the people of the State into a corner of suffocation and hopelessness”, Mr. Omar Abdullah said while speaking in Kupwara. “While National Conference remains committed to its struggle for the restoration of Autonomy, we have always maintained that we will welcome any other solution that is acceptable to the people of Jammu and Kashmir as well as New Delhi and Islamabad. We have our own political ideology and agenda and there is absolutely no change in that. The fact that we passed the Autonomy Resolution in the Legislative Assembly in 2000 with a two-thirds majority is a testament to our continued struggle for the restoration of Autonomy. This struggle will continue without any change. Our own proposed solution and agenda aside, we will continue demanding that New Delhi initiates an unconditional political engagement with all other stakeholders, including the Hurriyat leadership in a sincere effort to end the turmoil and bloodshed in Kashmir and find a lasting solution to the political issue”, the NC Working President added.
The NC Working President said hostility, armed conflict and animosity between India and Pakistan would lead us farther away from a possible resolution and would compound the misery and suffering in Kashmir. “What have all the wars that have been fought between India and Pakistan achieved? What has the armed turmoil achieved apart from graveyards, misery and pain? We have lost an entire generation to a political conflict that remains unresolved. And this political issue will not be resolved militarily or administratively. The Kashmir Issue needs constructive, imaginative and sincere political handling. Distorting and misrepresenting the ground situation in Kashmir at various fora won’t change the ground reality – the problem in Kashmir isn’t a derivative of terrorism or black-money but that of an unresolved political dispute.”, Mr. Omar Abdullah said. “The PDP-BJP Alliance has brought the State to the verge of mayhem and turmoil. The leaders of the two parties tried very hard to sell the PDP-BJP experiment of opportunism as this alleged out-of-box idea to bring the two regions of the State closer together and to help the State in achieving milestones in development, prosperity and growth. All of that has been debunked within the first couple of years of an alliance that has not only widened the gap between regions but also brought development to a complete, unprecedented standstill”, the National Conference Working President said while addressing the convention.
“Thousands of young men are languishing in various jails while thousands have been booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA) by Mehbooba Mufti’s Government. We have lost nearly a hundred precious lives in the current unrest and hundreds have been partially or completely robbed of their eyesight. While Mehbooba Mufti spent five months accusing the civilians for the unrest and ridiculed the killed for daring to get killed, she now suddenly admits there was excessive use of force. Why was she silent for five months and why did she suddenly realize there was excessive use of force? Was this Mufti Sahab’s vision – to rob our future generation of their eyesight? This Government hasn’t left a single stone unturned to torment and humiliate that youth of the State”, the NC Working President further stated. “On the governance front – the Government has ceased to exist. While its Ministers are holidaying in Australia and Europe, people in Kashmir are struggling to survive a harsh winter in the absence of electricity and rations. While electricity tariffs are being increased, areas of the Valley are plunged into darkness for hours if not days at an end. Our ration depots are without ration and this Government has ironically pioneered the sadistic cause of engineering food-insecurity in the State. We wonder what happened to Late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed scheme that we were told would ensure people get adequate ration after the State Government buckled to the Central Government’s NFSA move”, Mr. Omar Abdullah said.