Government of India should accept that Kashmir is a political issue which needs a political solution and not economic packages, former J&K Chief Minister and National Conference's working president Omar Abdullah told the Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday. He also asked the Government of India to initiate a "sustained dialogue" with Pakistan and separatist groups in Kashmir for "evolving a consensus for a mutually-acceptable solution" to the issue.
Omar made the remarks after he, along with some party colleagues, met Singh here.
In a memorandum submitted to the Home Minister, the NC leadership expressed its "deep disappointment" at the Government of India's "failure" to recognize the problem in Kashmir as a political one that requires political engagement both internally and externally.
"The central government's tried and tested formulations for dealing with the political sentiment in Kashmir, operatively and militarily, rather than thinking out of box has further exasperated the situation in Kashmir and created an unprecedented sense of disaffection and cynicism, especially among the youth, that could have adverse long-term implications," the memorandum reads.
"We hope the Government of India would consider the consequences of refusing to acknowledge the political sentiment in Kashmir and take immediate steps to initiate a sustained political dialogue with Pakistan and internal dialogue with stakeholders and a cross-section of leadership in Kashmir."
"The continued failure to address growing political alienation in Kashmir goes against the interests of people of India," the National Conference leadership said.
The party, in the memorandum, also conveyed to the Home Minister that "it would be a travesty to simplify the current unrest in the Valley as a pure law and order issue."
"…To blame external forces and vested interests alone would be a dangerous diversion that takes us away from the basis for not only such unrests and agitations in Kashmir but also a prolonged political turmoil that has resulted in the loss of thousands of lives," it adds.
The party also sought a judicial probe into State Government's "mishandling of the situation" in the aftermath of Burhan Wani's killing, including the veracity of claims made by senior PDP leaders.
"The State Government's abject failure in dealing with the situation in the aftermath of Burhan Wani's killing in a humane and political manner was further compounded by contradictory statements by Ministers and elected representatives belonging to the ruling dispensation. While senior PDP leader and Member Parliament Muzaffar Hussain Baig has blamed "internal rivalry" within certain sections of J&K Police for Wani's killing, another PDP leader and State Finance Minister Dr Haseeb Drabu has termed Burhan Wani's killing a case of custodial execution by the State Police while speaking in a Cabinet Meeting," the party memorandum read.
The party also sought a judicial probe into the circumstances leading to killing of dozens of civilians in Kashmir during the on-going unrest. It also called for an immediate restoration of mobile telecommunication and internet services and also a "human approach" vis-a-vis relaxations in the continued curfew to enable civilians to buy essential commodities.
The party also demanded ban on "non-lethal" weapons that have caused grievous, life-threatening and fatal injuries to people.
It also demanded that the Central Government should order judicial probe to "fix responsibility" for the crackdown on newspaper offices and printing presses.
"The Central Government should extend all possible medical and financial assistance in the treatment of those civilians who have sustained grievous injuries in the current unrest, and those who require specialized treatment not available in the State should be flown to New Delhi with all possible assistance extended to their families for their treatment," the memorandum reads.