Asif Iqbal Naik
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad Saturday showed his concern over the worsening situation in Kashmir in which at least 57 innocent civilians were killed while over 5500 including forces personnel were injured during pro-freedom protests after the killing of popular Hizb Commander Burhan Wani on July 08, 2016.
In his letter, which Azad addressed to Pm Narendra Modi, he questioned the policy of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) on Kashmir.
As per the letter, the copy of which is available with Kashmir Life, Azad accuses the government of India of failing to show any urgency in dealing with the situation or taking political parties into confidence, “as was demanded during the discussion in the parliament”.
He in his letter has assured Congress support to the Union government in “restoring the peace in Kashmir valley”. “But it is the Union and the state governments that have to take lead by reaching out to the people”.
Azad has shared grief, concern and anxiety among the people of Jammu and Kashmir over the on-going uprising that has scores of civilian lives in last 29 days.
Azad while taking a dig at PM Modi has said, “the present government fails to learn lessons during 2008 and 2010 protests and have completely forgotten and ignored in the current situation in Kashmir where curfew remained in place on the 29th consecutive day today.”
“So far more than 55 people have been killed and almost 7000 civilians and security personnel injured. More than 100 civilians lost their vision as a result of pellet guns,” reads Azad’s letter.
“There seems to be no recognition of the situation at the national level – earlier we (UPA Government) used to recognize the political nature of the problem. An all-party delegation from Parliament visited Kashmir in 2010 and met a cross-section of people, subsequently the interlocutors were also appointed,” Azad recalls in his letter and further adds, “today, there seems to be no such effort on the part of the Union government. What is New Delhi waiting for? When is government of India going to wake up? The use of pellet guns is no solution at all.”
He said that the steps taken by the previous government were followed by the Dr Manmohan Singh led UPA government by taking “bold confidence building measures to win the hearts and minds of the people” of Kashmir including the launching of Uri-Muzaffarabad bus service on 7th of April 2005 which was followed by trade through Uri-Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawlakote.
He said that as a responsible person, he feels his duty to bring the matter into the notice of Prime Minister that the situation in Kashmir is very dangerous and many feel insecure including the elected representatives who are running away from the scene and fail to interact with the people due to prevailing situation.
He has urged upon the PM Modi to take immediate steps.