Opposition National Conference (NC) on Thursday said the Centre’s “deafening silence” on the killing of civilians in Kashmir was “immoral” and demanded an “open-ended” dialogue for resolution of the situation involving Pakistan, the separatists and all stakeholders.
“The Centre should realise that the Kashmir issue is a political one and not a manifestation of terrorism or a generic law-and-order problem,” NC provincial president for Kashmir Nasir Aslam Wani said.
“New Delhi should immediately engage in a sustainable and open-ended dialogue with Islamabad as well as the stakeholders in Kashmir, including the Hurriyat Conference leadership.
“The prolonged delay in reaching out to the people of Kashmir through a comprehensive political initiative is fraught with unimaginable risks,” he warned.
“The Centre’s deafening silence on the continued killings of civilians in Kashmir is immoral. The alienation in the Valley, especially among the youth, is unprecedented and endemic,” said Wani.
He claimed that the Centre’s “tried and tested” method of dealing with the Kashmir problem as a law-and-order issue had created a “sense of hopelessness and despair” in the Valley.
“The absence of any political engagement with the sentiment in Kashmir has created a very hostile atmosphere. New Delhi’s failure to even acknowledge that the issue that needs to be dealt with is a political one is extremely dangerous.
“With every passing day, the youth of Kashmir is losing whatever little remaining vestiges of faith it has in the democratic system and that is a loud and clear condemnation of both the state and the Centre,” he alleged.
Wani said the Centre’s “failure” to express “basic empathy and concern” for civilians in Kashmir was “disheartening and disappointing”.
“Even after the Union Home Minister’s visit to the Valley, nothing has changed on the ground. Despite the heart-rending fact that hundreds of kids have been blinded and handicapped for life by the use of pellet guns, the government has chosen to allow the use of these supposedly non-lethal weapons that have caused three deaths and countless injuries till date.
“The crackdown on mobile telecommunications and internet continues as an attempt to muzzle the voices of criticism. The visit has yielded absolutely nothing, there has been no introspection and re-think,” he said.
The NC leader claimed that Governor NN Vohra has gone on leave as he was “dismayed and disappointed” with the state and the Centre for handling the Kashmir situation with “arrogance and ignorance”.
“Evidently dismayed and disappointed by the brazen arrogance and ignorance demonstrated in handling Kashmir, both by the state and the Centre, the Governor has proceeded on leave, indicating at the gravity of the situation.
“The Chief Minister continues to either contradict herself with every passing day or distort the reality on the ground to survive on her chair. Her administration is completely and solely invested in fabricating a sense of normalcy rather than working towards actually facilitating it and that has called into question the basic writ of the state government,” said Wani.