Omar asks Centre to start dialogue with stakeholders

Excelsior Correspondent

NC leader Omar Abdullah addressing party workers in Kupwara on Saturday.
NC leader Omar Abdullah addressing party workers in Kupwara on Saturday.

SRINAGAR, Dec 17: Noting there is no alternative to political engagement, National Conference working president Omar Abdullah today said the Centre should start a comprehensive dialogue with various stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir as well as with Pakistan in order to achieve sustainable peace.
“New Delhi needs to realise that it has to talk to various stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir and resume the dialogue process with Pakistan if it wants to see normalcy and peace in Kashmir,” Omar, a former Chief Minister, said addressing party workers in Kupwara, 100 kms from here.
Omar said his party had conveyed these thoughts to the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister when the opposition parties from the State had called on them during the course of the recent unrest.
“We asked the Central Government to realise that neighbours cannot afford perpetual hostility and peace was the only sustainable option,” he said.
Reminding the Centre of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s efforts and policy viz-a-viz Kashmir, Omar said, “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.”
Omar asked the Centre to change its “rigid stance” and adopt a nuanced and humane policy of engagement rather than treating a political issue through law and order mechanisms.
The NC working president said the PDP-BJP experiment in Jammu and Kashmir had turned out to be monumental political failure that had wreaked havoc with peace and stability in the State.
It had also brought about a complete collapse of the administrative machinery rendering developmental works defunct, he said.
“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,” Omar said.
He said National Conference, while standing by its own proposed solution and agenda, will continue demanding that New Delhi initiates an unconditional political engagement with all other stakeholders, including the Hurriyat leadership, to end the turmoil and bloodshed in Kashmir.
“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,” Omar said.
Omar 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.”, he added.
“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 leader said.
“Thousands of young men are languishing in various jails while others 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 admitted that 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”, Omar said.


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