National Conference working president Omar Abdullah today expressed disappointment over the outcome of the All Party Meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying the "refusal" of the Centre to acknowledge the gravity of the situation in Kashmir will flare up the current unrest.
"It is disappointing how the central government had turned its focus on the tried, tested and failed formulations of looking at the issue in Kashmir through the prism of Pakistan and radicalisation," the former Chief Minister said in a statement here.
"The unrest in Kashmir is not because of Pakistan. While suggesting so might be politically expedient and convenient for the Centre, it comes with the unimaginable risk of alienating the people of Kashmir to an irrevocable and irreparable limit. When that limit is breached, no amount of rhetoric or grandstanding will help," he said.
He expressed dismay at the "refusal" of the government to acknowledge the gravity of the situation.
"I am dismayed that New Delhi has yet again refused to acknowledge the gravity of the already volatile situation in the Valley. This will add further fuel to the current unrest," Omar said.
Launching a scathing attack on the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), he accused it of advancing an anti-Kashmir narrative and insulting the Kashmiris.
"Whose interests is PDP trying to serve by distorting the ground reality in Kashmir? Towards what self-serving political goal does PDP want to insult and defame the people of Kashmir?
"Given how PDP has provided the central government with an opportunity to advance an inherently anti-Kashmir narrative, it is not surprising that the All Party Meeting turned out to be a cruel, practical joke with the people of Kashmir," the former Chief Minister said.
He said people expected the Prime Minister to go beyond the "traditional BJP line" of talking to the alienated youth of Kashmir through Pakistan.
He said PDP should know that the political sentiment in Kashmir was neither due to ISIS nor a revival of the Khilafat movement as was alleged by PDP Vice President Muzaffar Baig at the All Party Meet.
"The spurt in local boys most of whom are educated and from affluent backgrounds joining militant ranks has nothing to do with either ISIS nor the revival of the Khilafat movement.
"The root cause of growing alienation in Kashmir is New Delhi's continued refusal to acknowledge that the issue in Kashmir is a political issue and its consequent refusal to engage with the people of Kashmir for a sustainable solution," Omar said.
Expressing shock at Baig's "perverse anti-Kashmir tirade and stereotypical Muslim bashing" at the meeting, Omar claimed PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti who had set the tone for the narrative that aims to vilify and defame the people of Kashmir.
He claimed that PDP was primarily responsible for the Centre's "shocking, hawkish stand" on the situation in Kashmir.
Stressing that PDP was the only political party from the state that was present in the meeting, he said, "It is therefore extremely disappointing that the party chose to ridicule and vilify the people of Kashmir and went to the extent of saying there should be no agitation by political parties against excessive use of force and pellet guns."
He accused the PDP of tacitly supporting the use of excessive force in the Valley.
He claimed PDP was reading from a "political script to suit a jingoistic, condescending narrative that stereotypes Muslims and also distorts the political issue in Kashmir as an alleged manifestation of radicalization and religious indoctrination".
Criticising PDP for claiming that the current situation was a result of systematic religious indoctrination through madrassas, Omar said not a single local youth who joined militant ranks in recent months had a madrassa-based educational background.
"Some of these young boys were toppers in the mainstream educational system while a few of them were meritorious students in professional college programs," Omar said.
He alleged that Baig's suggestion that youths are becoming militants for 'two sets of Kameez Pajamas' was an indication of how his party looked down upon the people, especially the youth of Kashmir.
"While we disagree with their ways and methods and reiterate that violence is unacceptable, we cannot afford to ridicule and insult them and consequently push them further away from the system," he said.
He said such remarks from PDP, first from Mehbooba and then from Baig, were augmenting the anger and frustration in the Valley, he said.