SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir National Conference (JKNC) President and Member of Parliament from Srinagar, Dr Farooq Abdullah, on Tuesday, urged the government to release Kashmiri youngsters languishing in jails across the country, stating that this humanitarian gesture will help curb alienation.

He made these remarks while interacting with the press at Srinagar Railway station. Dr Farooq was en route to Sangaldan, Banihal, to attend the flag-off ceremony of the first-ever electric train to the Valley.

Expressing anticipation for Kashmir to be connected with the rest of the country by rail network, Dr Farooq said, “Today is a blessed day that this train reached Sangaldan and the Prime Minister inaugurated it; I hope that this rail link will be fully completed by June-July this year.”

Highlighting the advantages of the project, he mentioned that besides enhancing commuter mobility, it will boost the local fruit industry by ensuring timely transportation of agricultural produce to local and national markets.

Recalling the efforts to extend the railway line beyond Jammu, he shared his meeting with the then Railway Minister and his request for extension up to Udhampur. The concerned minister, who acceded to his request, allocated Rs 100 crore for the extension.

Responding to a question about claims of peace and the situation in Kashmir, Farooq Abdullah questioned, “If the situation has truly improved as claimed, then why are thousands of our children in jails? What is their fault? Is this peace?” He urged authorities to stop oppressing people, release the youth, and allow them to live with dignity.

He further said, “Ghulam Nabi Azad’s claims that Farooq Abdullah goes to meet the Prime Minister and the Home Minister during night are fabricated. Why do I need to go during the night? I am a member of parliament and I am dealing with public issues in broad daylight. I appeal to the Prime Minister and Home Minister to see who is spying for Azad in the PMO’s office and home. Azad cannot get away by making false and obnoxious statements. How can a person who is not loyal to his party and ideology be loyal to anybody? People are the best judges.”

Regarding parliamentary elections and National Conference candidates, Dr. Farooq Abdullah stated, “We hope that apart from parliamentary elections, panchayat, municipal, and assembly elections will also be held in Jammu and Kashmir.” He added that decisions regarding National Conference candidates and his contesting from Srinagar will be made by the party and are not individual decisions.

Earlier, he received a warm reception from DDC Sangaldan.


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