National Conference Working President and Chief Minister of J&K Omar Abdullah Thursday alleged that PDP had at a point of time harbored plans to stigmatize the youth who had crossed the Line of Control (LoC) and exploit them for political dividends after branding them as “surrendered militants” who would have been forced to surrender in army camps in front of cameras had this government not persisted and implemented the Rehabilitation Policy against all odds. Omar further alleged that this was the precise reason why PDP voted against the NC-supported Rehabilitation Resolution in the State Assembly with a complete lack of concern for these youngsters and their families.
According to a statement issued here Omar while speaking at a Workers’ meeting of Wachi Constituency in Chatrigam Shopian, alleged that PDP was obsessed with impetuously opposing every single people-friendly measure or initiative due to their petty political and partisan considerations.
“PDP opposed the creation of Shopian District when Ghulam Nabi Azad was the Chief Minister and tried their best to make sure that Shopian doesn’t become a District. They opposed the creation of Ganderbal, Bandipora and Kulgam Districts as well.”
“They (PDP) opposed the creation of New Administrative Units by spreading lies and canards through their propagandists who masquerade as experts. Then once we took out a formal order announcing the creation of these units, they called this a mere formal order on paper,” Omar said.
Omar Abdullah said that both PDP as well as certain sections of the Security Forces leadership were opposed to the idea of the Rehabilitation Policy. “Both Mufti Sayeed and some elements in the Security Forces wanted these young men to come with weapons and surrender at Army Camps near the LoC after which pictures would be taken of them and they would be branded as surrendered militants in press statements – stigmatizing them in the society and making them vulnerable to be exploited and used for political dividends,” he said.
The NC Working President alleged that Mufti Mohammad Sayeed as Chief Minister started distributing SRO-43 checks that were processed during the Dr. Farooq Abdullah government to bask in self-projection. “Mufti Sayeed after becoming the Chief Minister started handing out checks of relief and compensation that were normally handed over to deserving people by Deputy Commissioners and other concerned officers. He did this for the cameras and created the ‘healing touch’ myth after taking pictures with awardees of SRO-43 and humiliating them in the process by lifting the veil of secrecy over such affairs. While PDP’s Machiavellian political strategies might have helped them in the short-term and harmed us in the short-term to, I pray that we are never afflicted with this disease of exploiting the misery and agony of people for photo-ops and media coverage”, Omar Abdullah added.