Shadow of fear over Panchayat election process alarming: Dr Farooq
Srinagar. Jan 10: Expressing concern over the shadows of fear and intimidation that have been cast around the Panchayat Election process in the State, Dr. Farooq Abdullah said such threats should be taken very seriously by the State Government as any politicization of the process by any quarter would be counterproductive and risk a spurt in turmoil. “These alarming threats should be taken seriously by the State Government and before any decisions are taken – the security situation in the State should be taken into account. It is the prerogative of the Government to conduct Panchayat Elections but it is also the responsibility of the same Government to protects its citizens and safeguard their lives. The Panchayat System is a conflict-neutral political system that aims to empower the people at the grassroots level and there should be no political motives or machinations to distort or misuse this process for political objectives”, Dr. Farooq Abdullah said. Dr. Farooq also expressed grave concern over the deteriorating security scenario in Kashmir and said the PDP-BJP Government had failed to wane away youth from isolation due to various ideological U-turns and contradictions. Interacting with Party Workers at his residence in Srinagar, Dr. Farooq Abdullah also said that the shadow of fear that has been cast over the Panchayat Election process is alarming and unfortunate and should be taken seriously by the State Government. “The security scenario in the Valley is a matter of serious concern and underlines the political vacuum that has resulted in accentuating the alienation on the ground, especially among the youth. The past three years have seen one ideological compromise after another by those who are in power today and this consistent tendency of inconsistency has had a direct and adverse impact on the psyche of our youth. With every passing day we are witnessing educated young men taking the path of armed militancy in a trend which threatens to take the State back to the throes of turmoil and uncertainty that we witnessed in the early 90s”, Dr. Farooq Abdullah said. The National Conference President said the rhetoric of reconciliation was little of little value and consolation when one analyses the growing disenchantment and disillusionment among the youth. “Both the Central Government and the State Government will have to realize the unimaginable consequences of allowing the atmosphere of disenchantment to persist in the Valley. The youth deserve more than the occasional rhetorical statement or press note. It is the onerous responsibility of the State Government to reach out to the youth and bring the Valley back to the path of stability and peace. However, unfortunately, the State Government continues to function in a manner which is adding to the alienation on the ground – be it their utter and complete governance failures or their numerous political compromises and U-turns”, Dr. Farooq Abdullah added. The National Conference President reiterated the need for a sustained, structured and result-oriented dialogue between India and Pakistan over all outstanding issues including that of the Kashmir and said there was no alternative to dialogue both at the internal and external fronts. “Seeking dialogue with Pakistan is a matter of realism and is based on our aspiration to see an end to instability, violence, death and destruction in Jammu and Kashmir. We have always sought dialogue both on the internal and external fronts and will continue to seek dialogue regardless of how such genuine and practical appeals are distorted. New Delhi and Islamabad need to restore the credibility and sanctity of the institution of dialogue and stakeholders within the State should also be taken on board to make the process meaningful and goal-oriented. The State has witnessed enough death, destruction, mayhem and turmoil and we cannot delay the resolution of the problem any longer”, Dr. Farooq Abdullah further said.