Climate of Fear Not Seen Since 1990s in Kashmir: PAGD

KO File Photo By Abid Bhat

Srinagar- The Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) on Friday asserted that the recent killing of civilians has created a climate of fear that has not been seen in Kashmir since the early 1990s and held the "failure" of government policies responsible for the current situation.

A meeting of the PAGD was convened on Friday at the residence of its chairman Farooq Abdullah to take stock of the current situation prevailing in Jammu & Kashmir, PAGD spokesman M Y Tarigami said.

The meeting was attended by PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, CPI(M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami and NC leader Justice (retired) Hasnain Masoodi.

The spokesman said the PAGD unreservedly condemned the recent killings of innocent people in the valley.

These killings have created a climate of fear that has not been seen in Kashmir since the early 90s. The current situation prevailing in Jammu & Kashmir is the result of the failure of the policies of the government that have brought Jammu & Kashmir to this point, he said.

Tarigami said whether it was demonetisation or the removal of Article 370, these decisions were sold to the country as a solution to the problems of militancy and alienation in Kashmir.

Today, it has been shown that without any doubt that neither demonetization nor the removal of Article 370 have contributed to improving the security situation in J-K. In fact, some recent decisions of the J-K administration have only served to heighten differences between the communities that otherwise were living peacefully amongst each other, he said.

The PAGD spokesman said while the onus to create a conducive security environment lies with the Government of India, we as responsible political parties of Jammu & Kashmir will play our role to the best of our ability to reduce the levels of suspicion and fear.

While it is true that the majority of the civilian deaths in Kashmir have been Muslims, it does not absolve us of our responsibility to do everything in our power to help those who belong to religious minorities feel secure and we appeal to those who may be considering fleeing the Valley to reconsider their decision, he said.

Tarigami said in the meeting of the political leaders with the Prime Minister on June 24 this year, the Prime Minister acknowledged "Dil ki doori aur Dilli sey doori while promising to correct this distance.

Unfortunately, nothing has been done in this regard since that meeting. Arbitrary detentions and excessive use of force continue to be the norm in Jammu and Kashmir, he added.

Referring to the killing of Yasir Ali in CRPF firing in Anantnag on Thursday, Tarigami said it is the direct result of the heightened state of alert and justification for the use of force.

Harassment of innocent civilians and the killings like Yasir Ali will only serve to worsen the situation in Jammu & Kashmir. The administration must do everything possible to ensure that shoot at sight policy is not adopted by the security forces, the PAGD spokesman said.

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