Omar Abdullah warns against divisive narrative; says need to protect secular co-existence

Omar called for like-minded voices to come together to safeguard the state's integrity, peace and stability by "foiling the designs of those who were trying to divide people across regional and religious lines for vested political interests".

By: PTI | Jammu | Published: January 14, 2018 8:43:22 pm
 Omar Abdullah says need to protect secular co-existence Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah. Express photo by Jasbir Malhi

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Sunday warned people against a divisive narrative and asserted that the future would be defined by efforts of the present generation to protect secular co-existence.

In his message read out at a day-long seminar ‘Bridging the Divide’ organised here by the Epilogue magazine, Abdullah expressed concern over the “increasingly acrid and divisive narrative” that stands to question the fundamental rights of equality and the dignity of human life irrespective of caste, creed, region or religion, guaranteed by the Constitution.

The Leader of the Opposition in J&K said that serious challenges were confronting not only the state but the nation at large.

The future would be defined by the “sincere efforts and honest intentions” of the present generation to protect institutions, secular co-existence and societal integrity, the National Conference leader said in his message.

He also hailed the diversity of cultures, languages and ethnicity of J&K.

However, Abdullah also underlined the challenges to the philosophy of tolerance, amity and peace among communities.

The former chief minister lauded the grit of the people of J&K and also highlighted the contributions of his grandfather Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah in nurturing the state.

Abdullah allged that there had been a “prolonged political vacuum” in J&K and there was growing disenchantment among the youth under the present dispensation.

“A singular focus on operational mechanisms and various other contemporary political developments have resulted in adding to the disenchantment among the youth,” he said.

Referring to the resurgence of militancy and a drastic increase in violence and turmoil, the former chief minister reiterated the need for saving the new generation from the consequences of renewed turmoil and instability.

He called for like-minded voices to come together to safeguard the state’s integrity, peace and stability by “foiling the designs of those who were trying to divide people across regional and religious lines for vested political interests”.

He also asked those at the helm of affairs to realise the consequences of divisive politics.

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