the NC has accused Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, of reducing the State government to a “subsidiary municipality.
Srinagar: Opposition National Conference (NC) president and former Chief Minister, Farooq Abdullah, on Tuesday said that successive governments at the Centre have failed to engage with the sentiment in Kashmir. He also asserted that it was the ‘moral duty’ of the country’s leadership to resolve the Kashmir issue.
Abdullah who is at the centre of a controversy over his recent statement that Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir belongs to Pakistan and that it can’t be retrieved through war said, “Sadly, the successive governments in New Delhi failed to engage with the political sentiment in Kashmir in a sustained, detailed and planned manner so that this issue could be resolved once for all,” he said. He added, “While various initiatives were announced and started at various junctures, almost all of them were plagued by a lack of political will and consistency”.
The NC leader while speaking to various delegations which met him here was of the firm believe that the effect of these initiatives “is far more crucial to the welfare of our people than purely the intent and sadly these initiatives were left halfway or were halfhearted to start with”. He asserted, “For any progress towards the goal of ushering the State and the region into a corrective era of peace and stability, this pattern needs to change”. He stressed the need for engaging with the sentiment in Kashmir in a sustainable and re-conciliatory manner for “there never was and never would be an alternative to a broad-based, nuanced and sustained political engagement with stakeholders in Kashmir.”
He also said that it was the moral duty of the country’s leadership to resolve Kashmir issue. “The country’s leadership is morally duty bound to find a sustainable solution to a political issue that has consumed thousands of lives and resulted in multiple military conflicts in the sub-continent especially detrimental to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. It is the moral duty of the Prime Minister and his government to take every possible re-conciliatory measure to initiate a process that would see the resolution of this issue as per the aspirations of the people”, he said.
Abdullah said that the Kashmir issue has both internal and external dimensions and this makes sustained and comprehensive engagement with our neighbours equally important. “Both internal and external engagement should go on simultaneously”, he said adding “We need to empathize with the victims of this conflict and understand their woes won’t go away by our rhetoric and stentorian speeches alone. They need closure and justice and there can be no alternative to a political initiative that is serious, politically empowered and sustainable”.
The Central government, he said, needs to explore every possible way to reach out to every quarter of opinion in the State irrespective of their political ideologies or rhetoric. “We need to move away from entrenched public posturing on this issue and understand human lives are priceless and are far more important than our rhetoric. We owe the people of Kashmir our empathy and solidarity”, the NC leader said.
Meanwhile, the NC has accused Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, of reducing the State government to a “subsidiary municipality.” While welcoming the orders passed by the Union Home Ministry to the State government for shifting juvenile detainees from various jails to remand homes and to consider amnesty for first-time offenders involved in incidents of stone-pelting in 2016, the NC asked the Chief Minister to explain why her government could not take these measures, that fall under the State’s law and order jurisdiction, on its own initiative till now.
“We welcome both these initiatives from the Ministry of Home Affairs and hope the State government will finally be embarrassed into action it should have initiated long back under the powers of law and order that come under the State’s jurisdiction and purview. It has now become evident beyond any doubt that the Mehbooba Mufti government has been reduced to a subsidiary municipality as all policy and decision-making powers have been surrendered to the Central government,” the NC spokesman Junaid Mattu said in a statement.
He added, “These are initiatives that Mehbooba Mufti could have and certainly should have announced on her own and not under pressure from the Central government. Had she taken these steps on her own in a timely manner, the situation in the Valley might not have continued to deteriorate”.