SRINAGAR: The opposition National Conference on Monday asked the Central government not to treat Jammu and Kashmir as a law and order problem and start political engagement in the State with all sections of society for finding peaceful solution to the Kashmir problem.
NC’s core group met under the chairmanship of party president and former State Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah at party headquarters in Srinagar on Monday.
The former CM Omar Abdullah and senior NC leader Ali Mohammad Sagar were among the 15 core group members, who attended the key meeting.
The leaders discussed the prevailing situation in Kashmir and expressed dismay and disappointment over the handling of the situation by the government, said a spokesman of NC.
He said the core group members felt the absence of any visible governance on the ground coupled with the absence of any political leadership on the part of PDP-BJP coalition government in the State is adding to the already worrying situation.
“The failure of the Central government to recognise the problem in Jammu and Kashmir as a political problem is a matter of great concern,” the spokesman said.
The core group said the Central government and the State government continue to deal with J&K as a law and order problem instead of a political issue requiring resolution.
The core group demanded that Central government immediately begin the process of political engagement with the State and its people and engage all sections of society for seeking a peaceful solution to the problem.
The leaders said the arrests, threats of use of force, unchecked use of pellet guns are all adding to the atmosphere of fear and anger and the Central government should immediately correct this.
The NC spokesman said the core group meeting did not discuss the forthcoming parliamentary bypolls and parliamentary elections to be held in the State.
“It is for the government to decide when and in what circumstances to hold the elections. As and when the elections are announced, the core group will meet again to review the situation,” he said.
Meanwhile, a senior NC leader, who attended the core group meeting, said the meeting felt that the Modi government was dealing with the Kashmir issue through the army.
He said that party leaders said that the Central government should not see Kashmir as a law and order problem but as a political problem and take immediate and necessary measures for starting dialogue process with all stakeholders in the State to resolve the issue.