Tunnel not an alternative to political initiative: Dr Farooq


Srinagar: National Conference President Dr. Farooq Abdullah on Sunday said the Chenani-Nashri Tunnel being portrayed as an alternative to a political initiative is yet another indication of a sustained effort to brush the political issue in Kashmir under the carpet.

While welcoming the inauguration of the tunnel which was conceived, initiated and nearly completed during the tenure of the previous UPA Government in New Delhi, Dr Abdullah said while economic development and infrastructural growth is essential, the state would continue to suffer unless New Delhi takes a political initiative to resolve the longstanding political issue in consonance with the sentiments of the people.

“We have always maintained that economic packages and infrastructural projects cannot be alternatives to dialogue between New Delhi and Islamabad and New Delhi and the stakeholders in Kashmir. Omar Abdullah said in the presence of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during the inauguration of the rail-link in the Valley. He also said this on numerous occasions inside the Legislative Assembly. Unfortunately the current dispensation in the state has bartered its voice to remain in power and is watching as a mute spectator as its ally in New Delhi is creating a political vacuum in Kashmir that could have unimaginable consequences in the future”, Dr Abdullah said while speaking at various places in Dal Lake interiors and Hazratbal Assembly Segment.

He was accompanied by Senior National Conference Leaders, Chief Spokesperson Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi, Former Minister Aga Mehmood and Former Member of Parliament Sharif-ud-din Shariq besides senior party functionaries.

Dr Abdullah said the recent spree of civilian killings and use of lethal force on protestors was an alarming and saddening trend that contradicted the promises and rhetoric of PDP before it came to power. “What happened in Chadoora a few days ago is not an isolated incident but only a continuation of what we have witnessed since the past so many months. Rather than reaching out to the youth and understanding their angst and resentment, the government has unleashed brute force and repression on them. The repercussions of this dangerous policy are for everyone to see. Unfortunately the PDP-BJP Alliance has chosen to not learn any lessons from the past and continues to alienate the youth of the Valley through this confrontational and insensitive approach”, Dr Abdullah said.

Dr Abdullah according to spokesman later addressed a minority convention at Party Head Office, Nawa-e-Subha Complex in Srinagar.

Addressing the convention, Dr Abdullah lauded the Party’s Minority Cell especially Sardar Jadish Singh Azad for organizing the convention and said NC would continue to safeguard the secular ethos and fabric of the state. “We all need to be united in the fight against communal polarization and divisive politics which is being perpetrated by the PDP-BJP Alliance. This opportunistic alliance is leaving no stone unturned the divide us on regional and religious lines through an elaborate plan to reap the dividends of division mutually. Kashmir Muslims, Sikhs and Pandits have always lived and worked together as one united family under the banner of ‘Kashmiriyat’ and we will continue to nurture this rich legacy. National Conference won’t allow any political forces to launch an assault on our social fabric and ethos of amity”, Dr. Farooq Abdullah added.

The convention was also addressed by NC General Secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar, Provincial President Nasir Aslam Wani, NC Minority Cell head Sardar Jagdish Singh Azad and Dr. Sameer Koul besides various party leaders and functionaries.