‘Peace impossible till New Delhi, Islamabad engage in talks’
SRINAGAR: National Conference (NC) president and Member Parliament Farooq Abdullah on Saturday said claims of normalcy in valley made by New Delhi and state governments were contrary to the ground situation in Kashmir and the “growing sense of alienation” especially among the youth.
Addressing a public meeting at Hardpanzoo area of Khan Sahib constituency in Budgam district, the NC president “yet again” impressed on both New Delhi and Islamabad to initiate dialogue on all outstanding issues especially Kashmir in a sincere effort “to usher the subcontinent into a corrective era of stability, mutual cooperation and harmony”.
“Those claiming things have improved in Kashmir after the mayhem, bloodshed, and misery of 2016 are contradicting the reality on the ground in an effort to escape their own culpability and responsibility,” Farooq said in a statement. “The fact remains that our youth today are more isolated and alienated than ever before and feel hopeless and dismayed.”
“We have left our youth disillusioned and disenchanted from the system as successive initiatives that were announced were left halfway. The lack of political will to engage with the aspirations of the people of Kashmir with a sense of seriousness and honesty has created an enormous trust deficit that has been further increased by recent betrayals and U-turns.”
The NC president said both India and Pakistan are nuclear powers and should acknowledge the fact that a nuclear war is out of the question and hence engagement and innovative conflict resolution is the only option. “Both countries have nuclear capabilities and arsenals. Those advocating violence and war are living in a fool’s paradise and their rhetoric is aimed at their own local constituencies,” he said.
Abdullah said there is no other alternative but to talk and take into account the practical limitations of both sides. “Conflicts are resolved with innovation and imagination, not by shrill slogans and stentorian and moralistic press statements. This conflict has inflicted enormous human, economic and political costs on the people of Kashmir and they deserve a resolution now – not ten years (or) fifty years later and not hundred years later – but now,” he said.
“We cannot sacrifice the dreams and aspirations of another generation in Kashmir. The time has come for both India and Pakistan to understand that they owe it to the people of Jammu and Kashmir to resolve this issue as per their sentiment once for all. We have bled enough.”
Expressing disappointment over the “state of misgovernance” in J&K, Farooq lashed out at the state government for “ignoring basic infrastructural requirements” and said people across the length and breadth of the state were “suffering due to a government that had decided not to govern but spend all its resources and time on photo-opportunities and theatrics”.
“The state of chaos and confusion in the administration is shocking and unprecedented. Even basic needs of the people cannot be fulfilled. Corruption has become an acceptable norm and the people are suffering. It is a sad state of affairs”, the NC president said.