Srinagar, J&K National Conference Working President Omar Abdullah on Thursday termed Union Minister of State for Home, Kiren Rijiju’s statement in the Rajya Sabha as an oversimplification of a complex political issue in Kashmir that has claimed thousands of young lives and said New Delhi should look beyond aggressive, conventional rhetoric and acknowledge the gravity of the situation in Kashmir. Addressing a Delegates’ Convention for Anantnag and Kulgam Districts at Dak Bunglow Anantnag today, the NC Working President said such remarks emanating from New Delhi were in fact reflections of insensitive statements made by Mehbooba Mufti over the course of the last five months.
“Both the Central as well as the State Government should stop portraying the situation in Kashmir as either a manifestation of terrorism or one invented by slush funds. Young children didn’t get killed vying for their share of Hawala money as no amount of money can compensate the inconsolable grief and loss of losing a child – nor can it ever serve as an incentive for losing one’s life. This conflict has claimed thousands of young lives over the past almost three decades and there is a political sentiment in Kashmir that would continue to exist even without any external interference or financial support. To simply attribute the political issue in Kashmir to slush funds or terrorism at this juncture would be a grave blunder that could have far reaching implications on peace in the State and the region as a whole”, Omar Abdullah said while speaking in Islamabad.
The National Conference Working President said it was extremely tragic that J&K’s own Chief Minister had taken upon herself the task of maligning, stereo-typing and defaming her own people. “When Mehbooba Mufti blames a father for losing a son, a sister for watching her brother being killed and claims that young boys died while attacking police posts and security installations – she is doing so to serve her purpose in the PDP-BJP alliance – that of an apologist for the Government’s ruthless refusal to politically engage with the sentiment in Kashmir. The same Mehbooba Mufti who didn’t waste a single opportunity to exploit the pain and grief of mourning families with placards in her hand has suddenly become a conspiracy theorist for the other side and blames the killed for getting killed. Nothing can be more ironic and shameful”, the NC Working President further added.
“Now Mehbooba Mufti has the audacity to go to New Delhi to seek CBMs for the people of Kashmir while tormenting the people here. We all remember how this same elaborate charade was enacted after Late Mufti Sahab passed away and how she still sat on the CM’s chair after New Delhi refused to even acknowledge her demands, forget about accepting them. We are still waiting for those promised CBMs like the revocation of AFSPA, talks between India and Pakistan and a political process involving the Hurriyat Conference leaders. Rather than delivering on a single promise she has made in the past, Mehbooba Mufti wants to insult the people of Kashmir by pretending to ask for more CBMs. Why doesn’t she release thousands of young boys arrested in an indiscriminate exercise to suppress the current agitation? Does she need New Delhi’s approval to do that? The ball is in her court and it is for her to act. She should stop deflecting responsibility and release the arrested youth”, Omar Abdullah said while addressing the party’s delegates in Islamabad.
The NC Working President, while expressing profound grief and sorrow over the loss of young lives across the Valley said the situation in South Kashmir was perhaps most grave and alarming as the Government had let lose a reign of terror on innocent civilians as a response to the agitation. “This same party and the same Mehbooba Mufti claimed to be a well-wisher of South Kashmir and made hundreds of promises to the people of South Kashmir on both governance as well as political fronts. Today South Kashmir has been turned into an internment camp and the same youth who were exploited by PDP in the previous elections are now sitting in jails in and outside the State. Was this what Mehbooba Mufti meant by her slogan of ‘Change’? The only change that has been visible is the change in PDP’s ideology and posturing – which is now completely similar to that of the RSS”, Omar Abdullah stated.
Asking party leaders, delegates and workers to reach out to the suppressed youth and be at the service of the people, Omar Abdullah said National Conference would fight against PDP’s treachery and tyranny and stand in solidarity with the people of the State in their resolve to rid this State of the politics of lies, deceit and opportunism.
“The PDP-BJP Government should desist from trying to indefinitely delay the Parliamentary elections for Islamabad and Srinagar Parliamentary Constituencies and come forward to face the people it has let down and fooled. PDP cannot escape the consequences of their U-turns and betrayals indefinitely and National Conference will ensure a strong message of upholding the dignity of our people goes out as and when elections are held”, Omar Abdullah added.