Urges India to engage Pakistan in meaningful dialogue for ending ceasefire violations
National Conference President Dr Farooq Abdullah on Saturday urged the Centre (India) to engage Pakistan in a meaningful dialogue for ending ceasefire violations, as the people of Jammu and Kashmir along International Border and Line of Control were living under perpetual threat.
“Peace would remain a distant dream unless Pakistan Army is taken on board in peace process”, Dr Abdullah said while addressing a public meeting at Surankote, close to Line of Control, this morning, observing that the neighbouring country had multiple power centres.
He wondered whether any serious effort is being made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to prevail upon Islamabad, as the ground situation on borders continue to be grim. The people are suffering and the normal activity has come to grinding halt in the border habitations, he said while referring to spurt in ceasefire violations in recent days. He also criticised the State Government for showing immense degree of insensitivity and callousness while dealing with the situation obtaining in the forward areas. “What a tragedy, the government has turned so callous that even the injured keep waiting for being shifted to hospitals”, he lamented.
Dr Abdullah complimented border dwellers for facing the challenge with fortitude and said National Conference was with them at this hour of crisis. He said the border skirmishes were not going to solve problems, but instead these will further compound the situation and limit scope for peace in the region.
He said National Conference has all along been striving for peace in the region, as it believes in harmonious co-existence and good neighbourly relations in the sub-continent. “Ultimately, the end receivers of hostilities between India and Pakistan remain the people of this state, he said adding that the problem here is to assuage the urges and aspirations of Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh and this can be achieved only when autonomy is granted to the state.
“Weakening of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir from time to time has generated mistrust among the people”, he said while tracing back its genesis to the era of Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad and Kh Ghulam Mohammed Sadiq. He said the opportunistic politicians remained instrumental in hollowing Article 370 and extension of central laws. In this context, he referred to the role played by Mufti Mohammed Sayeed in his various capacities.
“Mufti Mohammed Sayeed is architect of AFSPA”’, Dr Abdullah said adding that he has all along been pro-active in usurping the rights of people and trampling democracy in the State. At the behest of New Delhi, he has always muzzled the voice of people and negated the popular mandate.
“Today Mufti Sayeed led government is polarising the administration and creating a wedge on the basis of religion and region”, he said, adding that who knows what he has been chartered to do in lieu of Chief Ministership. He, however, cautioned that National Conference will stand like a rock against any machination aimed at creating communal wedge and regional divide. “This state has to flourish as a single entity in which Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and Buddhists enjoy equal rights and opportunities to progress. He said the communal and regional agenda will not lead the PDP-BJP alliance anywhere. “This is happening as the contentious issues between the two parties have taken toll of governance and retarded the pace of development”, he maintained.
Taking jibe at the PDP, he said the people are being fed with hollow promises while there is nothing concrete on ground. “Where is the huge central package, which the coalition is yelling from roof-tops”, he asked, saying the flood sufferers across the state have been virtually left in lurch.
Responding to local problems, raised by the public representatives, Dr Abdullah said the Rajouri and Poonch belt has huge potential to grow on tourist map which will give boost to its economy. In this context, he referred to Mughal Road and said this will prove to be the highway of progress and development for the area. “What a coincidence, Omar Abdullah was the first to drive on Mughal Road conceived by Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah”, he said and gave the background of its constructions while mentioning about the obstacles created by vested interests.
The National Conference President expressed anguish over ignoring the problems of the people by the coalition government, especially in respect of inflated power bills, delay in providing essentials and non-maintenance of utility services. He also took up the cause of Rehbar-e-Taleem teachers and said the programme had been conceived when the schools in far off areas had virtually become defunct due to staff paucity. “Our aim was to secure the future of youngsters by strengthening them with the ornament of education”, he said.