National Conference Working President Omar Abdullah on Mondaysaid the PDP-BJP Government’s policy of putting core political issues in J&K on the back-burner did not auger well for the prospects of peace and stability, both within the State and the entire South Asian region. According to a statement issued to KNS, Omar Abdullah, while addressing public meetings at Khari and Banihal Town in Banihal Assembly Constituency today said the spate in incidents of intolerance and communal confrontation in the country had created a sense of despondency and restlessness that could have far-reaching, adverse implications for our coming generations. “Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed a prolonged period of political unrest and turmoil. A State like ours cannot be starved of political engagement and initiatives to bring the disgruntled and disillusioned elements into the fold of our democratic processes and systems. A continued failure of the PDP-BJP Government to articulate the need for political engagement with internal and external stakeholders threatens the fragile peace in J&K that has been earned after years of political persistence. A lot of core political issues have been sidelined by the PDP post its alliance with the BJP – and this risks further alienation and isolation in the State”, Omar Abdullah said. Expressing serious concern over the growing sense of communal polarization and intolerance in the country, Omar Abdullah said incidents like those that were witnessed in Dadri and Udhampur are blots on the social fabric of our country and will continue to haunt the nation’s collective conscience for years to come. “Within J&K, tragic incidents like the murderous attack on a truck-driver in Udhampur by a frenzied, communal mob highlight the gravity of the situation we are confronted with. PDP acted as a political courier that carried the alien ideology of intolerance and communal polarization into Jammu and Kashmir at the behest of those who have always harboured a dream to fragment and polarize the State. There is no place for communalism in Jammu and Kashmir and our legacy of secularism, inclusiveness and tolerance will triumph over all sinister plans to sow disaffection between the three regions of the State and between people on the basis of their religions. National Conference will never allow such plans to succeed”, the NC Working President said. “During 2014 Parliamentary and Assembly elections in the State, Mufti Sahab and Mehbooba Ji campaigned against the BJP in the State and sought elections to stop their political march into the State. Votes for sought for PDP to keep the BJP at bay. As soon as the election results were out, PDP leaders rushed to Nagpur and New Delhi to embrace top BJP and RSS leaders. Since the very incorporation of PDP, National Conference had highlighted their inherent political nexus with the BJP. Today, their political affiliation with the BJP and RSS is out in the open.” Omar Abdullah said. Mr. Omar Abdullah said the Chief Minister’s office and institution had been trivialized under Mufti Sahab and that the existing atmosphere of helplessness and political ineffectiveness in the State could create an aversion towards the general democratic system. “The Prime Minister, during his visit to Srinagar publicly ridiculed and insulted Mufti Sahab by telling him that he didn’t require his advice on the Kashmir Issue. The entire political discourse in the State has changed with BJP exerting complete and total control not only on the institutions of governance but also the political articulation of outstanding issues. The Prime Minister’s snub has rendered PDP and its leadership completely irrelevant in the larger political discourse and that doesn’t behoove well for the State and its people. While PDP’s interests might be well served by remaining in power at all costs, the interests of the people of Jammu and Kashmir stand to be harmed by such dis-empowerment”, the National Conference Working President said. He also blamed Mufti Mohammed Sayeed for barterning unique identity of Jammu and Kashmir, and willingly handing over the command of his government Nagpur. “Apart from showcasing the infrastructure and developmental projects taken up during the previous NC-led Government, the present dispensation has absolutely nothing to talk about. The political aspirations of our people stand starved of articulation, their voices have been trampled and the State’s development has been brought to a grinding halt. Our youth are staring at an unprecedented situation of unemployment with the Government looking completely clueless. The PDP should change its election symbol to that of a Lock and Key now – as they have locked away their pre-election promises and thrown the key away with complete contempt and disrespect shown towards those who voted for their alleged ‘political agenda’”, Omar Abdullah added. Referring to the recently announced Central Package to the State, Omar Abdullah said the purely numerical substance would not benefit the people of the State on the ground. He reiterated packages alone would not help Jammu and Kashmir to emerge from the shadows of political uncertainty and unrest. “It is very important that the political dimensions of the Kashmir Issue are addressed. “Economic packages need to be supplemented with political initiatives and measures. I spoke about this in the presence of a visiting Prime Minister and also articulated this conviction in the Legislative Assembly. The State Government, on its own initiative took up political measures to address the perception of alienation and we worked very hard to create alternative routes for the return of misguided youth from across the border – a process that has been brought to a standstill by the present Government”, the NC Working President further said while addressing the public meetings. Omar Abdullah expressed displeasure over the developmental inertia in the State especially the far-flung areas and lashed out at the PDP-BJP Government for neglecting the aspirations of the unemployed youth of the State and said perpetual delays in releasing timely wages to different categories of workers besides failure to provide financial assistance to categorized segments of the population had resulted in unimaginable miseries and an overall atmosphere of vulnerability and penury. “This Government is leaving no stone unturned to wreak havoc with the Rehbar-e-Taleem scheme – a scheme that has been a tremendous success both in terms of providing an impetus to rural education but also as a scheme of job-creation. Those sermonizing about the need for examining the ReTs should first face the people and pass the test of getting public mandate after their brazen sell-out”, he said. Omar Abdullah said CAPD outlets lacked sufficient supplies and the essential public services were craving for maintenance and upkeep throughout the State. “The promise of round-the-clock electricity has turned out to be another big, cruel joke, he said. “The PDP-BJP Coalition has no vision or sense of policy direction for the unemployed youth and the schemes taken up earlier have been abandoned only because they had the prefix of ‘Sher-e-Kashmir’. Those segments of the people who deserve focused attention have been denied the benefit under MGNREGA while various rural development works are suffering due to lack of political will and direction to the executing agencies”, the National Conference Working President and Former Chief Minister stated. Those present on the occasion included Provincial President Devender Singh Rana, former minister Ajay Kumar Sadhotra, State Vice President Rattan Lal Gupta, Provincial Youth National Conference President Ajaz Jan, former legislator Brij Mohan Sharma, District President NC Ramban Sajjad Shaheen, Arif Mir, Mirwaiz Atta Mohammed Katoch and Abid Magrey.
2015 Kashmir Despatch