Arrests, Use Of Force Adding To Atmosphere Of Anger: NC

SRINAGAR: Opposition National Conference on Monday alleged that Government of India has failed to recognize Kashmir a political issue. The party said that Kashmir is not a law and order problem but is a political issue that anyhow is to be resolved.

The core group of the main Opposition party met under the chairmanship of party president Farooq Abdullah here.

Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and other senior leaders of the party also attended the meeting. Besides Abdullah and Omar, the meeting was attended by General Secretary A M Sagar, Mohammad Shafi Uri, Abdul Rahim Rather, Choudhary Mohammad Ramzan, Nasir Aslam Wani, Devender Singh Rana, Mohammad Akbar Lone, Sakina Ittoo, Javed Rana, Syed Ahmad Kichloo, Aga Syed Ruhullah, Khalid Najib Suharwardy and S S Slathia.

A statement issued by the party said that the union and state governments continue to deal with Jammu and Kashmir as a law and order problem instead of a political issue requiring resolution was also noted by the Core.

It said the group took stock of the prevailing situation in the state and recorded its “dismay and disappointment towards the way in which the situation in the state is being allowed to worsen”.

“The absence of any visible governance on the ground coupled with the absence of any political leadership on the part of the current state government is adding to the already worrying situation,” the statement said, adding, “arrests, threat of use of force, unchecked use of pellet guns are all adding to the atmosphere of fear and anger and the central government should immediately correct this.”

“The Core Group of the National Conference reiterated its demand to the Central government that they immediately begin the process of political engagement with the state and its people and engage all sections that are desirous of seeking a peaceful solution of the vexed issue of Jammu and Kashmir,” the party said.

On the speculation regarding participation in the forthcoming elections to Panchayats and bye-polls to two parliamentary seats, the National Conference said, “it was not the purpose of this meeting.”

“It is for the government to decide when and in what circumstances to hold the elections. As and when the elections are announced, the core group will meet again to review the situation,” it said. (CNS)

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