National Conference slams Centre's 'indifference' to address J-K situation

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], Sept. 22 (ANI): Expressing concern about the "absence" of any meaningful political initiative from New Delhi to deal with the political situation in Jammu and Kashmir, the National Conference (NC) on Thursday said the current policy of dealing with the unrest in the state operationally is a reiteration of the tried, tested and failed formulations of dealing with an inherently political issue through military and administrative means. "Mass arrests and widespread curbs in the State will only deepen the sense of alienation among the youth and take us further away from the goal of peace and reconciliation," said a joint statement issued by NC president Dr. Farooq Abdullah and working president Omar Abdullah here. "Unfortunately, despite the alarming situation in the state and the horrifying human costs of this current unrest, New Delhi continues to look at the political situation in Jammu and Kashmir through a security prism. Recent indications of New Delhi taking steps to increase military presence and re-establish military camps and bunkers in Kashmir have augmented the sense disaffection and skepticism in the state. These security measures cannot be alternatives to a political initiative," they said. They further said multiple visits by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh as well as the visit by the parliamentary all-party delegation yielded no result and failed to create conducive atmosphere for the initiation of a sustainable and meaningful political process. Similarly, a joint outreach by a delegation of opposition parties from J-K that called on the President and the Prime Minister in New Delhi in addition to other national leaders has also failed to convince New Delhi about the sensitivity and urgency of the evolving situation in the state, they added. "Even suggestions to take certain basic, interim measures to deescalate the situation in J-K - while contours of a larger initiative are conceived - have been summarily ignored," said the statement. Asserting that New Delhi's refusal to take concrete and visible steps to address the internal dimensions of the political issue in Jammu and Kashmir, even within the often articulated 'framework of the Constitution of India' has become a diplomatic weakness that is exploited time and again at various international fora, they noted: "Lack of a structured and sustained bilateral engagement between New Delhi and Islamabad over the last few years has also created a gaping political vacuum that threatens peace and stability in the region." Stating that such blatant disregard for the current situation in Jammu and Kashmir is extremely unfortunate and tragic, they said, "This indifference and perceived insensitivity can have serious long term implications. We hope New Delhi acknowledges the unaffordable costs of ignoring the political issue in Jammu and Kashmir are primarily to be borne by the people of the state." (ANI)