Jammu: National Conference working president and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Wednesday said Kashmir is a “political issue” and needs a “political solution” for heralding lasting peace in the state.
“For arriving at a solution, New Delhi must open channels of dialogue with all stakeholders,” he said while addressing a public rally in Doda on Wednesday.
Referring to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s claim that demonetisation had a positive impact on the Kashmir situation, Abdullah said, “Instead of continuing to invest in delusions and deflections, there is a need to understand real issues so that a solution can be worked out.”
About the “alarming” situation in Kashmir for the past over four months he said, “The issues involved are beyond economics or law and order. Therefore New Delhi must take political initiatives for resolving these.”
Abdullah alleged the “contradictions and opportunism” of the ruling PDP-BJP alliance are at the root of the turmoil in the Valley.
He claimed that NC has made a “sincere and honest bid” to end people’s miseries and defuse the situation by meeting the President, the Prime Minister and the opposition leaders in the national capital.
“We did not politicise the situation like the PDP did by creating obstacles in smooth functioning of the government from 1999 to 2002 and between 2008 and 2014,” he claimed.
Abdullah alleged that while in the opposition, Mehbooba Mufti “would not miss an opportunity” to exploit the pain and grief of the people.
“Now, the Chief Minister is blaming one and all the youth, the institutions, socio-religious organisation except for herself for the mess the state is in,” he alleged.
Abdullah claimed an unprecedented situation is prevailing across the state with development coming to a grinding halt and utility services lying almost defunct.
He alleged that several projects launched during his tenure as the Chief Minister were either abandoned or put on the back-burner by the present dispensation.
Had the power projects like Ratle, Keeru, Kwar, Kalnai, Pakaldule, Sawlakote been allowed to come up, these would have not only changed the economic scenario of the Chenab Valley region but the entire state as well, Abdullah said.
The “failure” of the PDP-BJP alliance to fulfill its promises had led to a “political deficit” that has been one of the contributing factors to chaos, turmoil and uncertainty, he claimed.
Cautioning people about the “divisive politics” that has penetrated into the socio-political fabric of the “pluralistic” state, Abdullah appealed to people to isolate such elements by maintaining time-tested unity, amity and tranquillity.
The PDP-BJP combine “has reaped the dividends of polarisation and divisiveness” and therefore “they would continue to promote” such a drift for furthering their political agenda, the NC working president alleged.
“In such a situation, National Conference has an added responsibility to keep the flag of inclusiveness aloft,” he said.