Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference President Farooq Abdullah said on Friday that youths joining militants were “sacrificing their lives for freedom of the nation”. He asked his workers to remember the sacrifices of people.
Abdullah said that instead of aspiring to become MLAs, MPs or ministers, the youth was joining militancy. He said they were sacrificing to demand their rights.
Abdullah cautioned New Delhi against an effort to “suppress the political aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir through administrative and military mechanisms.”
He was addressing party leaders, legislators and workers at a function held in Srinagar to commemorate the second death anniversary of NC party leader and his uncle, Sheikh Nazir Ahmed.
Abdullah said statesmanship and sagacity demanded that New Delhi should initiate political engagement with the alienated youth of the State rather than resorting to a confrontational and aggressive approach by issuing threats of ‘harsh measures’.
“When we demand that New Delhi should engage with the politically isolated, alienated and anguished youth of the State, we are not condoning violence or turmoil – nor are we supporting strife. To the contrary, by asking New Delhi to talk to these young men, we are seeking that the root cause of alienation be addressed rather than a continuing with the policy of treating the symptoms through operational and administrative mechanisms. That is a tried, tested and failed approach and has yielded nothing but a loss of young lives on all sides”, Abdullah said.
The National Conference President said the turmoil and hostility in Jammu and Kashmir was in itself a result of extra-constitutional intrigues by successive regimes in New Delhi that went against all constitutional safeguards and promises that were provided to the State at the time of accession. “Before looking at external factors and blaming the problems in J&K on terrorism, New Delhi should read contemporary history of the State with objectivity and then only will it realize that the simmering political issue in the State is the outcome of New Delhi’s overt and covert acts of constitutional impropriety and injustice with the State and its people”, Dr. Abdullah said.
“These young men we see out on the roads today don’t care about their lives, their livelihood or about their personal grievances but are full of resentment and hostility because of how New Delhi has and continues to see and define them through the narrow, conventional prism of law and order dynamics. If it were as simple as threatening the youth to desist from these protests and activities, the soil of this State wouldn’t have been soaked with the blood of thousands of young men and women. This too is no rocket science”, he added.