Srinagar: A “vulgar phase of militancy” has started in Jammu and Kashmir, ruling PDP MLC Firdous Tak said today as he voiced concern over the new “serious trend” of educated youth taking up arms and asked his party’s government to pay attention to it.
He said it was a result of “reversal”, during last 5-6 years, of the peace process started by the then Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in 2002 and cautioned that “If we do not wake up now, we will have to face the consequences in the days and years to come.”
Speaking in the Legislative Council on the Motion of Thanks to the Governor’s Address, Tak said, “We are seeing that a new phase of militancy has started and it is a very vulgar phase. Vulgar because first it was thought that only those youth pick up guns who do not get employment, education or face economic problems.”
He said, “Today, a new trend has started. Educated youth, coming from well off families are picking up guns. It is a very serious trend.”
Asking the government to pay attention to this aspect, the lawmaker cautioned, “If we do not wake up even now and open our eyes, we will have to face the consequences in the days and years to come. The governments come and go. Today, it is PDP, tomorrow it will be some other party, but the people here and the whole country have to face the consequences.”
Tak said the state was bearing the brunt of the “reversal of the peace process” initiated by Sayeed during his first stint as Chief Minister in 2002.
“The state is facing the result of the halt in the peace process, the reversal of efforts for peace in the last five-six years, coupled with the atmosphere of fear created among the youth,” he added.
“Sayeed used to say, if there is a voice of dissent among the youth, we have to talk to the youth. All the efforts from 2002 to 2008 were reversed and we are bearing the brunt of that today,” said the ruling party lawmaker said.
Tak said, while India was making efforts to establish peace with Pakistan, there was also a need to work with all the stakeholders in the state.
“We talk of peace, dialogue, negotiation, reconciliation between India and Pakistan, but we also have to engage with the stakeholders in the state, the dissenters and the different voices here,” Tak said, adding that the youth would have to play the “most important” role in the process.