Jammu and Kashmir’s PDP-BJP government’s policy of putting core political issues on the backburner did not auger well for the prospects of peace and stability, both within the state and the entire South Asian region, former chief minister Omar Abdullah said on Monday.
Addressing public meetings at Khari and Banihal towns of Jammu region, he said the spate in incidents of intolerance and communal confrontations in the country had created a sense of despondency and restlessness that could have far-reaching, adverse implications.
“Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed a prolonged period of political unrest and turmoil. A state like ours cannot be starved of political engagement and initiatives to bring the disgruntled and disillusioned elements into the fold of our democratic processes and systems.
“A continued failure of the PDP-BJP government to articulate the need for political engagement with internal and external stakeholders threatens the fragile peace that has been earned after years of political persistence,” he said, adding a lot of “core political issues” have been sidelined by the Peoples Democratic Party post its alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Expressing serious concern over the growing sense of communal polarization and intolerance in the country, Abdullah said incidents like those that were witnessed in Dadri and Udhampur are blots on the social fabric of the country and will continue to haunt the nation’s collective conscience for years to come.
“Within J&K, tragic incidents like the murderous attack on a truck-driver in Udhampur by a frenzied, communal mob highlight the gravity of the situation we are confronted with,” he said.
Stressing there is no place for communalism in Jammu and Kashmir, Abdullah, also the working president of the National Conference, said his party would never allow sinister plans to sow disaffection between the three regions of the state and between people on the basis of their religions to succeed.
On the recently announced central package to the state, Abdullah said the purely numerical substance would not benefit the people on the ground and it was “very important that the political dimensions of the Kashmir issue are addressed”.
“Economic packages need to be supplemented with political initiatives and measures,” he said.