Asking the Centre not to play truant over the much-needed financial package for Jammu and Kashmir, senior PDP leader and Member Parliament, Mr Tariq Hameed Karra today said the political leadership in New Delhi must rise above petty political considerations and invest liberally in the State to restore public infrastructure, revive economy and help flood-affected people to restart their livelihood. “Unfortunately, the rhetorical assurances on much-trumpeted financial package have started causing immense harm to the credibility of the Government as cynicism is mounting among the people over the bigoted attitude of the Government of India towards the flood-affected State and its people,” Karra said in a statement Tuesday. He said the irony is that even after a year of devastating floods that battered private and public infrastructure in Kashmir, people are merely being barraged with assurances, with nothing tangible coming forth from the Centre. “This jugglery of words and the stinginess with which the Government of India is responding to the monumental tragedy of Jammu and Kashmir, compared to the generous announcement of aid for Nepal earthquake and flood-hit Uttarakhand, has invoked a general suspicion among the people about the policy of contempt being adopted by New Delhi towards the State,” he said and added it is because of these prejudiced policies towards Kashmir, that there has been always a inherent feeling of mistrust among Kashmiris towards New Delhi. “The onus is on the central government, which was neither forthcoming in pressing into service enough manpower to deal with the disaster, nor in pumping enough funds in the face of the enormity of the tragedy,” Karra said and added given the fact that the devastating floods of September 2014 proved to be one of the costliest natural calamities in recent history of the State, it was and is the responsibility of the Centre to share the financial burden of rehabilitating the flood-affected and reconstructing the mangled infrastructure. “Dishing out mere proclamations of big financial package after a year of tragedy and acute suffering, is akin to rubbing salt over the wounds of the people who have suffered,” Karra said and added that the PDP-BJP alliance was formed on the premise of development and both the parties had resolved to keep aside their political and ideological positions, and, instead, make development of the state the main agenda of their governance. “But till now, we see nothing substantive happening on the ground,” he said and added that there is a sense in Kashmir that the package is being delayed only for the fact that a major portion of it might be used in the Valley. “Having failed to understand the economic structure of J&K, the BJP Government at the Centre would not only be guilty of being vindictive but also naïve,” he said and added that given the interdependent economy of regions of Kashmir and Jammu, the Centre’s failure to reconstruct Kashmir and revive its economy would also adversely impact the economy of Jammu region, parts of which are BJP’s core constituency in the state. Karra said the Centre should realize that the sense of alienation in Kashmir is assuming dangerous proportions and any delay to address the huge development deficit in the State is only going to make things difficult for the mainstream political parties to handle. “I hope good sense will prevail on the Central leadership, sooner the better, and it will reach-out to the people of the State with substantive political and economic measures as was done between 2002 and 2005, to prevent the situation from sliding into another dark era of death and destruction,” he said.
2015 Kashmir Despatch