Promises rehabilitation of stone-pelters
Pulwama: National Conference (NC) vice president Omar Abdullah on Saturday blamed the Mehbooba Mufti-led government of undoing all the efforts the NC government had made to decrease footprint of armed forces in the valley. He said that once the NC comes back to power, it will make renewed efforts to bring respite to people, including rehabilitation of those booked under criminal charges of stone-pelting.
Addressing a public meet at Rajpura here, Omar said, “I have already made an undertaking that once in power with a strong mandate, our government will obliterate PSA from the law books of the state. During my previous stint as CM, I brought some changes to the PSA law to make it more juvenile-friendly. In my tenure, I raised the issue of decreasing the footprint of armed forces in various areas; my government actually did lessen the grid of bunkers. I made earnest efforts to impress on the need of removing AFSPA from areas where the situation was considerably peaceful. However, the PDP-BJP was not able to keep up the momentum of my good work. Today we have a situation where our highways have been snatched from us. Whatever good was achieved by bringing down the footprint of security forces in my time was also thrown away by the BJP-PDP government.”
He singled out Mehbooba Mufti as being responsible for the current situation in Kashmir. “Today Mehbooba has bequeathed such a situation in Kashmir that she herself is not able to canvass for parliamentary elections, in particular in south Kashmir areas. It is Masoodi sahib (NC candidate in south Kashmir) who has taken the lead in making a point to visit all the poll-bound areas of south Kashmir. I am sure that the enthusiasm of the people of south Kashmir will give more clout to him to work for the protection of Articles 370 and 35-A, both inside and outside Parliament,” Omar said.
Omar also censured the Modi-led BJP government in New Delhi. He said, “Had the BJP government been able to deliver on any of its promises it made to the people of India in the run-up to the 2014 elections, it would not have hunched so low to seek votes in the name of Balakot and Pulwama. We see them not speaking of their achievements. Their raising of emotive issues is rather an oblique acceptance of failure by them. However, people have made it a point to teach them a lesson for squandering the precious mandate of 2014.”
Calling Articles 370 and 35-A as articles of faith for the National Conference, Omar said, “The articles ensure the citizenry of our state certain unbridgeable rights in jobs, land rights and scholarships. Any move to scuttle the articles will have far-reaching consequences on the people of the state. So, it is imperative for the people across the state, in particular the people of south Kashmir, to vote for NC. This time every vote you cast will set the course of our state for the next half a decade. This time you will be voting for securing your identity, which is facing unbridled attacks from all sides.”
Once again lambasting Mehbooba Mufti for shedding crocodile tears for the miseries of people, he said, “The election-time crocodile tears are political tears whose veracity is under question. Had the PDP president and the ex-chief minister shed tears when our youth were devoured upon in 2016, it would have had any impact. One may enquire from her as to where was her concern for people when the people of Kashmir were subjected to worst human rights violations, killings, blindings and much more. It was during her tenure that people were used as human shield. Where her sympathy and empathy for those who were blinded, bruised during her tenure? People are the best judge of the PDP and its stint in power.”