National Conference leader and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday said that a resolution to the troubles plaguing the state can only be found when people hold political leaders responsible for the promises they have made. Omar was speaking on ‘Reimagining Kashmir’ at the United Nations Young Changemakers Conclave at the US Consulate here on Saturday.
“One way to Reimagine Kashmir is to stand by the words uttered and commitments made by political leaders. Former Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao had said that short of azaadi the sky is the limit. Atal Bihari Vajpayee had said the issue of Kashmir needs to be dealt with insaaniyat, jamhooriyat and Kashmiriyat. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said in his Independence Day speech that we need to win people’s hearts. If we can only put these words into action and hold political leaders responsible, then it won’t be too hard to find a resolution,” he said.
The former J&K chief minister also warned that if people do not hold political leaders responsible for their promises “we will keep talking about militancy even 20 years from today — the problem will fester and blood will continue to be spilled”.
He criticised sections of the broadcast media for painting every young Kashmiri as a militant and a stone-pelter. “There cannot be more than 500-600 militants… Television news channels paint all of them with the same brush,” he said.
Abdullah also condemned the killing of 22-year-old Army Sepoy Rajendra Singh in Anantnag on Friday, who was injured by stone pelters.
“The stone-pelters claim to have the higher moral ground but they lose it when they do something like this. Such an event weakens those people who believe that dialogue is the way forward. We have to condemn such things but also wean away our youngsters from the destructive path that they are on,” he said.