National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah on Sunday expressed surprise at the statement by Union Home Secretary Amit Shah that Jammu and Kashmir’s statehood would be restored after the legislative elections.
He declared that “the impulses and aspirations of the people must be satisfied for a lasting peace” in the territory of the Union.
Abdullah expressed surprise at the logic advanced by the central leadership that the state will be restored after the completion of the constituency demarcation and the holding of elections.
“It’s strange,” he said and recalled the multi-party meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi a few months ago in which he addressed these issues.
“Modi had at that time asserted that the gap between New Delhi and JK should be bridged by winning hearts… Hearts cannot be won by undermining the status of Jammu and Kashmir, which was forked and then downgraded “, he added. The NC chief said at a public meeting in Mendhar in Poonch district.
Defending the decision of the BJP-led NDA government to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, Shah said on Saturday that August 5, 2019, was written in golden letters in Kashmir history.
He reiterated that elections would be held in JK after the delimitation exercise and would be followed by the reestablishment of the state.
“Elections are going to take place. (Kashmiri politicians want the) delineation to be stopped. Why? Because it harms their policy. Now such things will not stop in Kashmir.
“The youth of Kashmir will have opportunities, so a good demarcation will be made, which will be followed by elections, then statehood will be restored. I have said it to the country’s parliament and it is the roadmap, ”Shah said.
Abdullah added that it must happen for the first time that a state is transformed and declassified as Union territory.
“The impulses and aspirations of the people must be satisfied for a lasting peace,” he stressed.
Advocating for the Indo-Pakistani dialogue, the CN chairman said peace in the region will remain elusive unless a conducive atmosphere is created for talks between the two neighboring countries.
He also denounced the attempts to divide society for political ends and said it was not good for the unity of the country and the integration of people.
“The nation cannot afford to break up into pieces on the basis of religion. Elections should not be conducted on religion, as they provide an opportunity to build responsive governments that serve the people in terms of development and economic empowerment, ”he said.
The former chief minister expressed grave concern at the loss of life and damage to growing crops and orchards due to heavy downpours, hail and high winds across Jammu and Kashmir.
Abdullah, who is on a four-day visit to Jammu province, also called for a comprehensive assessment by expert panels of the damage caused, saying preliminary relief in terms of financial assistance should be provided to those affected until ‘until the assessment is complete.
He also called for the immediate release of compensation to the next of kin of those killed.