Srinagar: National Conference Working President Omar Abdullah on Saturday expressed disappointment at the Union Government’s apathy towards the very grave situation in Kashmir and said the Central Government had misled the Supreme Court by saying the situation in the Valley was “improving and under control”.
Expressing profound grief, sorrow and anguish at the continued spate of killings, Omar Abdullah extended his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and prayed for the recovery of thousands who are battling serious, potentially maiming injuries in the hospitals.
“We express our heartfelt solidarity with the families of Muhammad Maqbool Wagay of Loolipora, Sameer Ahmed Wani of Khan Sahib and Danish Rasool Mir of Kreeri, Baramulla – a class 12th student – all three of who lost their lives yesterday as well as those more than fifty youth who have lost their lives in this unrest, including two policemen The pain of their families is incomprehensible and these tragedies are completely inconsolable,” the NC Working President said.
“Just a day after the Union Government misinformed the Supreme Court about the situation in the Valley, three youth have lost their lives and more than four hundred have been injured – a lot of them having sustained life-threatening, lethal injuries. If this is the Central Government’s definition of a situation improving or a situation that is allegedly under control, God help the people of Kashmir,” the NC Working President said.
The NC Working President expressed complete disappointment at the lack of any political measures taken by the Union Government after the Union Home Minister’s visit to the Valley.
“We had asked for an immediate ban on pellet guns and that security forces as well as the Police should be held accountable for any excessive use of force. The killing of Reyaz Ahmed from Chattabal, who was shot dead at point-blank range while riding his scooter, has demolished every possible argument that defends the use of lethal force in the Valley,” Omar Abdullah added.
“Has New Delhi declared a war on the people in Kashmir? Hundreds of young boys and girls have potentially life-changing injuries, most of them caused by pellet guns. Thousands of youngsters have sustained injuries in this unrest. To blame Pakistan for the unrest or to delude ourselves into thinking this is a law and order situation is criminal. There is an extreme sense of resentment and disenchantment among the youth of the Valley and that is the basis of this unrest,” Omar Abdullah further said.
“Every appeal being made asking New Delhi to engage with Pakistan and the people of Kashmir through a sustained, comprehensive dialogue to resolve the political issue is falling on deaf ears. There is no sense of concern and empathy from the Union Government. The national media too has shifted the traumatic situation in Kashmir back to the proverbial back-burner in a perceived effort to distort the reality in the Valley and suit a particular narrative in New Delhi in the larger alleged ‘national interest’. The sense of bereavement, injustice and hopelessness in Kashmir is widespread and deep. New Delhi’s continued arrogance in refusing to acknowledge this to presumably save its Government in J&K with PDP goes against not only all tenets of justice and humanity but also against the interests of the country and its people – against the very fabric of the country’s constitution,” the NC Working President added.
“In the middle of this harrowing situation, Mehbooba Mufti is solely and primarily interested in her ridiculous self-marketing exercises by going to the extent of playing out video footage of Board Meetings and Administrative Meetings on Doordarshan – to apparently pretend that she has a bone of empathy and humanity in her and that she is still around. Nothing could be more insensitive to the suffering and bereaved families at this juncture than to see Mehbooba Mufti on the evening news every day addressing meetings on far less pressing issues than the protection of the lives of our youth. The enactment of fake ‘civil society’ meetings is not an alternative for public outreach and solidarity. The emphasis remains on optics rather than substance,” Omar Abdullah stated.
“Despite nearly 300 youth being shot in their eyes with pellet guns – many of them permanently blinded, the State and the Union Government seem to be encouraging the use of pellet guns through their inaction and silence rather than banning their use. It is evident their sole concern is political survival based on a quid-pro-quo arrangement where PDP has sold out to the BJP and BJP’s Central Government in New Delhi has in turn quite apparently extended its unconditional protection and patronage to an inefficient, insensitive and inept State Government in J&K where contradictory, bizarre statements have become the norm instead of the exception,” the NC Working President said.
The NC Working President said both the Union as well as the State Government should acknowledge the gravity of the situation in the Valley and take long-term, political initiatives to address the alienation and resentment in the Valley rather than looking at this situation with an operative prism.
“Kashmir is a political issue and nothing short of a comprehensive, sustained political dialogue with all stakeholders in the Valley as well as Pakistan can serve as an acceptable alternative on the policy level,” Omar Abdullah added.
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