SRINAGAR: National Conference president Farooq Abdullah today held the Centre responsible for the Kashmir problem and demanded a beginning of dialogue with Pakistan and Kashmiris people for the "solution".
"If successive governments in New Delhi would not have betrayed the people of Kashmir by not keeping their promise, the situation would not have come to prevailing passe," he said addressing an election meeting at Budgam in central Kashmir.
Abdullah is contesting the upcoming bypolls from Srinagar parliamentary constituency. Stressing on the need for dialogue to resolve Kashmir issue, he cautioned the Centre against "excessive use of force and repression" against the people, saying "unless Kashmir is recognised as a political problem peace will remain elusive." "For lasting peace and stability, dialogue process needs to be initiated," he said, adding that Kashmir issue has been recognised at the international level and therefore, talks should be initiated with Pakistan and the people of Kashmir for judicious solution.
He called for involving all stakeholders to find out a way forward so that the current spell of bloodshed is stopped. "Our heart bleeds when the blood of young man is spilled during broad daylight clash with the security forces. Use of disproportionate force will take us nowhere.
There is need to understand that young people's urges and aspirations have to be met, who feel pushed to the wall," the NC leader said. He said the government at the Centre, in "mistaken belief", prefers "force over compassion and understanding" towards the problems of youth.
"If New Delhi thinks that use of pellet guns would help restore peace, they are living in fools world," he said while holding New Delhi squarely responsible for the "current morass". Abdullah expressed dismay over "political instability, economic disaster and above all fear" among the people.
Attacking Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, the National Conference President wondered over her "hypocrisy", saying "when out of power she used to shed crocodile tears while visiting the slain militants houses but now she underplays, and unfortunately mocks the peaceful protests by the people".
He said "Valley is passing through most difficult phase and unless immediate measures are not taken to assuage the political aspirations of the people, Kashmir will continue to bleed".