Srinagar, Nov 10: Describing the 2010 agitation in Kashmir valley as a futile exercise, Peoples Conference Chairman Sajjad Lone has said such agitations adversely affect the life of common people.
“There is no need to launch such agitations which scare away tourists and restrict children from going to school,” Lone said while talking to KNS, adding there are many other ways to protest for genuine demands of people.
Strongly condemning agitations and strikes, Lone said, “It has adverse effects on the common man. People can hold peaceful dharnas (sit-ins) across the valley or go for a brief one-hour shutdown rather than having a 90-day strike.”
He said the agitation in 2010 was a futile exercise which didn’t benefit anyone in any manner but, ‘on the contrary had adverse effect on the common people of Kashmir. He said agitation threats should not be issued by anyone.
On the suo moto notice taken by Supreme Court over the Amarnath Yatra deaths, Sajjad accused India of being selective in delivering justice.
“There was no proactive action from SC when it comes to human rights violations in the Valley. What pains me as a Kashmiri is that in last 20 years, amid huge number of disappearances, killings and Public Safety Act slaps, SC did not mention a single word on them,” he said.
“This whole Amarnath Yatra is a pointer, a question towards India’s collective conscience. Where is their conscience? Where is their morality? What are these ethics that SC is so active when it comes to Amarnath Yatries but doesn’t mention a word on thousands of people who died in last 20 years? I think that question is more important than whether the road is being macadamized or not,” Sajjad said.
He called upon the youth to work for economic security and prosperity of the state. “The country belongs to them. They should do what it takes to make it economically secure and a prosperous place. As far as political preferences are concerned, I think it’s time for people of Kashmir especially youth to go for introspection and see whether their voting preferences and responsibilities might have contributed to the current state of affairs”, he said.
Refuting criticism from certain quarters regarding his contesting elections, he said, “I never took Qur’an in my hands to swear that I would not contest elections. What I said was that I have not fielded any proxy candidates. When it comes to fighting elections, other separatists also fought elections, I’m also fighting elections. If Allah will punish me for fighting elections, He will punish them also. If Allah has exempted them from every sin, then it becomes a different story,” he added.
When asked if he believes the separatists should continue to call for election boycott, the PC Chairman said, “I really think that it is their duty. It is their democratic right to call for the boycott of elections, and if they do, they should not be arrested and restrained. Let them carry on with their democratic right,” he said.
On the threat issued to Panchs and Sarpanchs, he said, “I condemn issuing of threats to anyone.”
Speaking about the present situation in the Valley, he accused the government of failing on every front. He said the government and people are alienated from each other. “Government has failed to address the miseries of the people. People who are at the helm of affairs seem to live in a different world,” said Lone.
Lone said that he had no sleepless nights after losing in the previous elections, however ‘there were lessons to be learnt.’
“Failure in last election has given lessons, we lacked in technical aspects at that time,” he said.
When asked that his family is divided between different ideologies, he said that family members were at liberty to have different ideologies. “In Kashmir, families have divided ideologies when it comes to political preferences,” Sajjad said. KNS