Dangerous vacuum in Kashmir, all gains of past decades reversed: Lone

Srinagar: National Conference leader and Member of Parliament Muhammad Akbar Lone said that what the government is doing in Kashmir is “not compatible with democracy”.
“At present J&K is in the throes of a crisis. The representative voices continue to remain incarcerated and those outside are not being looked up to while taking decisions. Every day we see how far-reaching measures and administrative decisions are taken. What is being done in J&K is not compatible with democracy,” said Lone while addressing scores of party workers, functionaries and delegations from north Kashmir at his Srinagar residence on Friday,
Referring to the prolonged detention of party president Dr Farooq Abdullah, vice President Omar Abdullah, senior leader Ali Mohammad Sagar and others, Lone said that their absence from the political landscape of J&K was not good for the country in general and for J&K in particular.
“By denigrating mainstream politics in Kashmir, the incumbent government has created a dangerous vacuum, reversing all the gains of the past two decades. It was our party which had to shoulder the coffins of scores of its leaders and thousands of its workers to reinstate the faith of people in democracy and rule of law. The diplomatic edge of the country at international forms vis-à-vis has also suffered heavy dents,” he said.
Decrying the demonisation and vilification of the tallest representatives of J&K, he said, “Incarceration of former chief ministers, Members of Parliament, is not a good omen. The measures of central government have delegitimised everything the mainstream politics in Kashmir stood for. By detaining Dr Farooq Abdullah, a sitting Member of Parliament, the central government has sent clear signals of its contempt for Kashmiri representation. Any political process in J&K minus NC is not credible.”
He said every industry in J&K, ranging from manufacturing to services, had incurred heavy losses and the government was not doing anything for traders, businessmen, orchardists, farmers, and contractors.
“In no way can parachuted people be a substitute for people’s representatives. What holds good for the rest of the country cannot be held wrong for J&K. There is no accountability here. Infrastructure development hasn’t seen any fillip since 2015. All the sources of employment, whether in private sector or tourism industry, have shrunk to alarming levels, not to talk about the jobs in public sector. The government is sending money to J&K in piece meals. The other day, only Rs150 crore were released for education in J&K out of the allocated budgetary amount of Rs 3,000 crore,” Lone said.

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