Valley unrest: JK opposition gives memorandum to President, calls for ‘political’ solution

New Delhi, Aug 20 : Asserting that both the State and the Central government have failed in finding a solution to the soaring violence in the Valley, the Jammu and Kashmir opposition parties led by National Conference chief Omar Abdullah said here on Saturday that the problem in the state is a political one and cannot be handled administratively.

Speaking to the media here after submitting a memorandum to President Pranab Mukherjee, Omar said that this is the first time in memory that initiatives that should have been taken by the government, are actually being taken by the opposition.

"This afternoon a delegation of opposition parties that had previously met in Srinagar, called on his Excellency the President to present him a memorandum and to apprise him of the situation currently prevailing, particularly in Kashmir valley, but also showing signs of spreading to Pir Punjal, Chenab valley region of Jammu and Kargil part of Ladakh as well," he said.

Omar added that their meeting with the President, which cuts across party lines, symbolised the deep concerns that they have for the prevailing situation and also their disappointment at the way the matter has sought to be handled, both by the Centre as well as the state government.

"This is the first time in our memory that we have found that initiatives that should have been taken by the govt are actually being taken by the opposition.

Whether it is at the central level, where if any discussion was initiated in the parliament, was initiated because of the opposition.

Similarly, if any moves have been made in the state government, it only followed from opposition pressure and not as an initiative of the government," he said.

Asserting that the unrest in the Valley stemmed from a political problem, Omar said that the situation cannot be handled administratively or by creating a humanitarian crisis.

He also alleged that people who are undergoing their 43rd day of restrictions and curfew are having further restrictions placed on them, increasing their misery.

"With the sale of petroleum and other products being banned, with the movement of ambulances to hospitals being affected, with stringent curfew measures being enforced, all that is happening is that more and more people are being driven out onto the streets and the problem is getting worse," Omar said.

In the memorandum, the opposition has requested the President to get the Government of India to acknowledge that the root cause of what is happening in the Valley, lies in the politics of Jammu and Kashmir, and the solution also must be found politically, not administratively and not through the use of force.

"This is what the position of all political parties took with the president and we do hope that there will be a positive outcome from our visit here," Omar added.

Lashing out at the Mehbooba Mufti-led government for its sheer failure in managing to at least contain the volatile conditions in the state, Omar stated that the Chief Minister was directly responsible for the deteriorating situation.

"We did not raise the point of Governor's rule with the President. We have not come here to overthrow the government, even though the Mehbooba Mufti government is responsible for the deteriorating state.

Her ruling has continuously failed and so has her ability to deal with the situation. It's administrative anarchy in JK. One ruling is announced in the morning and by evening, another," Further stating that it was ridiculous to blame Pakistan completely for the Kashmir unrest, he added that Islamabad was partially responsible in fanning the flames, but they were not solely to blame.

When asked about the Centre's active involvement in the tense conditions in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK), the NC chief stated that the former should first focus on dousing the flames in his 'own house'.

Talking about the controversy over the usage of pellet guns by the security forces which has resulted in serious injuries and also people losing their eye sight, Omar said that the problem was that the guns were being given to people who did not know how to use it, ergo causing serious and fatal injuries.

"I'm stunned that 1.3 million pellets were used against our people. If such power and force had been used in any other state in our country, would people remain silent? When such things happen in JK people don't seem to care.

Not only is the problem with the use of the pellet guns, the problem is that those guns are being handed over to those people who are not adequately trained in the use of weapons," he said.

"That is why you are seeing injuries on an unprecedented scale. It is not just the use of the weapon. Any weapon is a lethal weapon. It depends on how you use it," Omar added. Earlier, the Congress expressed concern over the current state in the Valley saying that the situation is sliding into 'total chaos' and called for a solution by the opposition.

As many as 65 have been killed and thousands of civilians and security personnel reported injured in protest-related violence following the encounter of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8.

Source: ANI