SRINAGAR: The Congress party today joined several other political outfits in criticising Union Minister of State for Parliamentary and Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abas Naqvi for his comments linking Kashmiri youth with the ISIS.
“Youths in Kashmir earlier joined ISIS. They have now started joining the IAS (Indian Administrative Service). The second-ranker in this year’s civil services examination is a Kashmiri,” Naqvi had said at a public meeting in Noida on Sunday, while elaborating on the achievements of the Modi government over the past two years.
Salman Nizami, a leader of the Jammu and Kashmir unit of the party, said, “Not even a single Kashmiri youth has joined the ISIS till date. Those who have joined are from other parts of India. Such type of ‘immature’ statements from a Union Minister is highly regretful and hurts the sentiments of Kashmiri people.”
Nizami further said that the government should not view every Kashmiri with suspicion.”Every Kashmiri is not a terrorist. This mindset of the BJP leader is deeply hurtful and frustrating for young Kashmiris trying to fashion the best lives for themselves even as a low-intensity conflict plagues the Valley,” he said.
Recalling the hard efforts of successive Congress governments in stabilising the ‘much hyped’ and ‘disturbed’ state of Jammu and Kashmir, both at the central and state levels, he said, “Muhammad Shafi Pandit is the first Kashmiri Muslim to have joined the civil service in 1968, securing the third rank. Shah Faesal, became the first Kashmiri to top the 2009 Civil Service Exam, and Ruveda Salam became the first woman from the Valley to become an IPS officer in 2013 and an IAS officer in 2015 after she took the exam again.”
“The Congress governments of the past have launched several schemes for the Jammu and Kashmir youth in order to secure their livelihood and keep them engaged. Unfortunately, the BJP government during its two year tenure has miserably failed in handling the state and the work done by Congress has been thrown in air due to ill handling of the situations which could be fatal for the existence of peaceful state,” he added.
“If the government wants to win the hearts of Kashmiri youth, they should not associate them with militant groups. It gives a wrong impression. Moreover, students studying outside the state are being harassed, which sends a bad signal,” Nizami said.
He said that there was need for Naqvi to tender an unconditional apology for his controversial statement, and added that the Kashmiri people are anguished and angry about it.
Former state chief minister Omar Abdullah has also condemned Naqvi’s statement. Using his Twitter handle, Omar Abdullah said, “”How disrespectful and disdainful of @naqvimukhtar to claim the success of Kashmiri youth as some sort of NDA achievement. #shame.”
He added, “Actually Kashmiris joined the civil services LONG before the NDA existed & will join long after the NDA disappears!”.
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