SRINAGAR: National Conference on Sunday said asked New Delhi to realise that “there is absolutely no alternative to engaging with Pakistan and the Hurriyat Conference leadership as well as all other stakeholders in the Kashmir Valley”.
In a statement issued here, senior NC leader Mubarak Gul said New Delhi should engage in an “unconditional, open-ended, comprehensive and sustained” dialogue process with Pakistan and acknowledge that Pakistan is a party to the complex, vexed conflict in Kashmir.
“Chest thumping over bluster in Islamabad might help the BJP in the upcoming elections in UP and Punjab but will further catalyze the agitation in Kashmir and we will continue losing our youth in the absence of New Delhi evolving and rising to the occasion,” he said.
He lashed out at the State and the central government for a “complete, barbaric, and uninhibited assault” on the civilians in Kashmir saying protesters were being shot with an intent to kill or maim.
“We have seen a clear operative pattern where protesters, especially the youth, are being shot at with the intent to kill or maim. While around 56 youngsters have lost their lives in the current unrest, thousands of young men and women have sustained serious, life-altering injuries with hundreds facing a bleak future due to pellet injuries in their eyes and spinal cords. Despite this humanitarian disaster, the government has failed to ban the use of pellet guns and continues with an investment in lethal force to deal with a sentiment that inherently political in nature,” he said.
Gul said prime minister’s “deafening silence” is also a “tragedy” in its own right. “While the PM finally spoke out against the cow vigilantes in the country, a compulsion sparked by an assault on five members of the Dalit community, he has chosen to maintain a tragic silence on the situation in Kashmir even when fifty six young men have been killed and thousands injured. This is unbecoming of a prime minister and can have very dangerous consequences as far as alienation and isolation in Kashmir is concerned,” he said.