Srinagar, Oct 20: National Conference President Dr. Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday said that the people of Jammu and Kashmir cannot be “subdued by the strong-armed measures” and called for a “generous reach-out” to the people of J&K, saying it was the only way out to address issues concerning people.
Addressing a workers convention in Banihal, Abdullah said this while questioning the projected dawn of a new era in Jammu and Kashmir post August 5, 2019. “Weren’t we told that August 5, 2019 decisions would bring lasting peace? Where is it then? Where is the much touted new dawn to bring job extravaganza for your educated and skilled youth? Where are those jobs? The projected Naya Kashmir by the ruling dispensation in New Delhi has proved to be a doomsday scenario for the people living on either sides of Chenab and Pir Panjal ranges,” he said as per a statement.
Farooq said the claims of GOI on Jammu and Kashmir are far from reality. “There has been a systematic disempowerment of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, particularly its youth. The claims of the BJP government that the abrogation of Articles 370,35 –A paved the way for job creation, decreased violence, nurturing democracy, eradicating corruption have fallen flat. The ground situation belies these claims. Having nothing to show, projects sanctioned by previous NC led governments are being shown as the outcome of abrogation. The reality on the ground is that the gap between the secretariat and the people is widening with each passing day. People, especially the youth of Kashmir, Chenab, Pirpanjal are feeling cheated. The alienation among the youth is at an all time high. The data released by various central agencies also attest to the ground realities in JK. Before August 5, 2019 unilateral decisions, J&K was doing better on various HDI indices nationally but post Aug 05 we are going downhill,” he added.
Dr. Farooq further stated that consultations are better than coercion. He said that the corrective measures initiated by the PM were a good start but the need of the hour calls for carrying it forward. “Kashmiris, the People of Pirpanjal, Chenab, and Kargil cannot be subdued by strong-armed measures. Such things have proven abortive in the past and in the future also will prove vain. Democracies don’t work that way. Democracies ought to have institutionalized debate, discussions, and consultation and reach-out mechanisms. A magnanimous reach-out can only chart-out a new chapter of peace, prosperity and development in J&K,” he added.
He said that NC has all along been protecting the sub-regional heterogeneities of Jammu and Kashmir but the incumbent dispensation at New Delhi, with its selective pick and choose policy, is allowing it to become a causality of majoritarian narratives. NC, he maintained, is committed to take care of the sub-regional aspirations of Doda, Kistawar, Ramban, Poonch, Rajouri and Bhadarwah. “NC has always voiced the genuine concerns of the people of Pipanjal and Chenab and we will continue to. It is the BJP which loathes the idea of empowering people of Pir Panjal, and Chenab belt. And to meet its end, BJP has put up its B-teams to divide the voice of the people in these far-flung areas. It is for you people to not allow such forces to take roots in your areas. It is a united voice that can save your future generations. The entire region is at a tipping point of history and any misstep at this juncture will have a bearing on your future generations,” he said.
He further added that NC is the only vital force with strong foot-hold in every region of Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and that the recent DDC and by-elections have proved it. “NC, time has again proven cannot be wished off. We draw our sustenance from the last persons living in Paddar, Thatri, GoolSangaldan, Doda, Indrawl, Poonch, Rajouri, and Badarwah and likewise from the remote areas of Kashmir and Ladakh,’ he added.
Party General Secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar, Provincial President Jammu Rattan Lal Gupta, District President Ramban Sajjad Shaheen, YNC Provincial President Jammu Ajaz Jan also addressed the convention at Banihal. Political Advisor to Dr Farooq Mushtaq Guroo accompanied Dr Farooq. Later Dr Farooq addressed another party convention at Ramban where he was joined by Khalid Najeeb Suharwardy and AG Malik apart from other party functionaries. The convention was organized by Chaman Lal Baghat.