Srinagar: The mainstream opposition parties including Congress, National Conference (NC) and CPIM on Friday urged India and Pakistan to make peace and not war on Kashmir and said it was possible only if the two sides sit across the table to resolve Kashmir issue.
“That will not only put an end to the bad blood and hostilities between these two South Asian neighbours but also eradicate the menace of terrorism from our region,” said former Union minister and NC president Farooq Abdullah who had convened the meeting at his residence here. He added, “Resolving Kashmir issue through talks between India and Pakistan is the only way out. Otherwise violence and terrorism will only be escalating.”
While speaking to reporters after the meeting which was attended by J&KPCC chief, Ghulam Ahmed Mir, CPIM’s state secretary Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami and regional Peoples’ Democratic Front leader Hakeem Mohammad Yaseen and president Democratic Party Nationalist Ghulam Hassan Mir besides senior NC leaders including former ministers, Abdullah said, “All of us are looking for the way forward and not looking back at what happened”.
He said that he was concerned over the unending turbulence triggered by the killing of Hizb-ul-Muhajedin commander Burhan Wani in the Valley which has left over 90 people dead and thousands injured.
Earlier in course of his speech at the meeting he said that the prevailing situation in the State was alarming and there was a need to constructively find a lasting solution to the political issue in Kashmir. He said that there is also urgency of a consensus within the opposition parties to work towards an effective resolution of the issue to bring the State out of turmoil and instability.
“Since the Prime Minister has accepted the need for dialogue to find a lasting solution to the political issue, it is imperative that the Central Government initiates talks with stakeholders within the State and also resumes a meaningful dialogue with Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir Issue,” he said.
He added the PDP-BJP alliance has in its ‘Agenda of the Alliance’ promised a dialogue between New Delhi and stakeholders of different opinions and they cannot escape their responsibility to initiate a political process.
Condemning the ‘wave of indiscriminate arrests and mass repression’ of civilians, he said this approach would further alienate the youth and add to the anger and resentment on the ground. He also criticised the State government for its “foisting” examinations on students in spite of the fact that they haven't been able to complete their prescribed curriculum due to the situation in the State. "The Government should not torment the students but look at their position with sensitivity", he said.
He demanded that the Hurriyat Conference and other separatist leaders should be released and the State government should facilitate a meaningful and credible political dialogue between them and the Central government. “Thousands of young boys have been arrested based on vindictiveness and retribution and the State government should order their release to create a conducive and reconciliatory atmosphere in the State”, he said.
“It is also extremely tragic that standing crops and animal fodder is being destroyed in the hinterland to persecute the common masses. Houses are being ransacked and property destroyed. This is only adding to the alienation and is taking us farther from peace and stability. Our Tourism Industry stands devastated and that too has affected hundreds and thousands of families in the State”, Abdullah said.
Addressing the meeting, JKPCC chief Mr. Mir said the opposition parties in the State should be united in initiating a proactive process of reaching out the people in this situation of uncertainty and suffering.
He asked the Central government to realize its responsibilities and address the simmering situation in Kashmir without any further delay. CPIM’s Tarigami said the genesis of political turmoil in the State lies in historical blunders and mistakes such as one that was perpetuated in 1953. He said there was a need for national parties to introspect and understand that status-quo in Kashmir was not a sustainable option....