Kashmiri Youth Apprehensive of Venturing Out of J&K: Omar Abdullah



NC Youth Convention

Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and National Conference Working President Omar Abdullah on Thursday said after the JNU episode and consequent developments Kashmiri youth “were apprehensive of venturing outside the State” for their academic and professional pursuits.

Addressing NC’s Youth Convention at its Headquarters in Srinagar, Omar said, “the victimization of Kashmiri youth outside the State was alarming as they were being openly profiled and hounded.”

“During our tenure in the Government, we tried our best to open avenues of employment for our youth outside the State through landmark schemes. Today our youngsters – students as well as job aspirants – are terrified at the very prospects of venturing outside the State after the JNU issue was used as a pretext to harass our youth. Today people are being arrested and booked under sedition by showing doctored videos. Today fake videos and fake slogans are being used as a basis for arrests and defamation and branding people ‘anti-national’. Where will Kashmiri students and young professional go in this poisoned atmosphere? As it is, our youth are stereotyped, harassed and profiled without any provocation or basis. Now, where will they go? Who will show them the right path and protect them from radical voices who are now openly advocating tyranny and bigotry? Our youth finds itself drowned in the darkness of hopelessness and despair,” the National Conference Working President said.

The NC Working President said National Conference would “protect our youth in this atmosphere of victimization and harassment and would offer them hope, encouragement and support”. “We will stand by our youth, we will not allow anyone to harass them and defame them. While PDP has sold its tongue for power, National Conference will fight tooth and nail for the rights of our youth to live with dignity and peace of mind both within and outside the State,” he added.

“National Conference has never chosen to push our youth in harm’s way to further our own political ambitions. During the Algerian Conference in the 1950s, the Chinese Leadership offered full support to Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah to launch an armed revolt in the State. Sheikh Sahib chose to go to prison himself and struggled personally rather than putting guns in the hands of our youth. That was the extent of his selflessness and the mettle of his integrity. He chose prison cells over power for 22 years rather than sacrificing our youth. We have always believed in nurturing and protecting our future generation and we will continue to serve their interests and work for their prosperous future,” Omar further said.

Omar Abdullah said National Conference was “proud of its legacy and history and stood by its political agenda”. “We stand by our demand for the restoration of Autonomy and will never compromise with our State’s honour and dignity. We will never betray our people for power. If someone else can achieve more than Autonomy – they are welcome to strive. We haven’t stopped anyone from pursuing their proposed methods of resolving the Kashmir Issue and we will continue to stand by our political stand. One wonders what happened to PDP’s Self-Rule document. What happened to their promise of having dual currency in J&K? What happened to the pre-election promise of opening additional trade and travel routes along the Line of Control? From all those promises and rhetoric PDP has today reduced itself to calling BJP the best political party in the world and Narendra Modi the best Prime Minister this country has ever had. While BJP leaders proclaim ‘one last war’ against the Muslims of the country, PDP is busy trying to knock on their doors in Delhi for Government formation. Is PDP going to be on the other side in this ‘last battle’ against the Muslims of the country?” Omar asked.

“I have always maintained that the Kashmir Issue is a political issue that cannot be resolved through money or economics. While our youth are being harassed, while BJP leaders are declaring a war against Muslims, PDP is busy trying to flout figures of funds and money as an argument for selling their slogans and ideology to the BJP. Just yesterday an anonymous PDP leader had said PDP’s relationship with BJP is so strong that a few thousand crores were earmarked for J&K in the Union Budget. Is PDP going to justify its treachery by claiming that New Delhi has allocated a few thousand crores for us? People of this State are not for sale – their honour and dignity is not for sale. PDP might be for sale but the people of Jammu and Kashmir can’t be bought or sold,” the former Chief Minister said.


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