Jammu, Apr 7: Asser-ting that there is need for Indo-Pak dialogue, Jammu and Kashmir National Conference President Dr Farooq Abdullah on Saturday said that Line of Control should be converted into Line of Peace and Goodwill to enable unhindered people to people exchange and trade between divided parts of Jammu and Kashmir.
“Sooner the two nations appreciate the ground realities better it would be for bringing thaw in the relations and ending hostilities of all sorts”, Dr Abdullah said while addressing a public rally at Mandi in Poonch district.
“The wars in the past seven decades have not changed the reality of Line of Control,” he said adding that the border hostilities were detrimental for both India and Pakistan and any full-fledged conflict will lead to devastation and destruction in the region.
Elaborating on the reality of LoC, Dr Abdullah said, areas like Hajipeer and Chammb, captured in 1965 war had to be returned back as per mutual understanding.
He said his assertion over the Line of Control may be criticized and contested but reality cannot be changed, adding, “conversion of LoC into Line of Peace will benefit peoples living along the borders on both sides, who have been braving the brunt of hostilities”.
Dr Abdullah referred to the unimaginable sufferings caused to border dwellers due to dislocation from their homes and hearths in the wake of shelling and cross LoC firing, stating that unfortunately this has become a routine since the past few years.
He however, also urged the Centre to resolve the issues which are essentially political in nature and try to win over the alienated hearts and minds by shunning the policy of creating divisions.
He said the claims that demonetization had put an end to stone pelting in the Valley have fallen flat as the youth were now taking to guns, adding, “the situation therefore cannot be allowed to drift any more, he said and called for earnest initiatives to reach out to the people”.
He cautioned the Centre against taking the people of Jammu and Kashmir for granted and ignoring their legitimate aspirations.
Dr Abdullah said the country is passing through a difficult phase as attempts are being made to divide the society in the name of religion and caste and by encouraging sectarian divide.
He referred to the violence over dilution of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and said machinations are being engineered to end reservation.
“The present dispensation at the Centre is working against the interests of farmers, weaker sections, and minorities and expressed concern over growing suicides of peasants,” he said adding that despite seven decades of independence, the farmers are continuously been exploited across the country.
The National Conference President also blamed the PDP-BJP dispensation in Jammu and Kashmir for failing on deliverance front, saying developmental inertia has taken toll of various utility services.
He said lack of accountability and mis-governance have added to the miseries of the people, who are feeling let down on every front.
He also referred to release of solar lights during his tenure as Union Energy Minister and regretted these are yet to reach the beneficiaries because of political considerations. He said the present dispensation will have to account for its non-performance and failures.
On the contrary, he said Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah brought a revolutionary Land Reforms Act which made tillers masters of their holdings overnight.
He exhorted the people to guard against attempts of dividing them on the basis of religion and maintain time tested unity to foil all these machinations.
Addressing the gathering, National Conference General Secretary Ali Mohammed Sagar assailed the PDP for hoodwinking people by emotive slogans and ending up in causing enormous miseries to them in the earlier tenure as also during the present spell.
Sagar described PDP as an opportunistic political outfit that is pursuing anti-people agenda in the company of the BJP and said: “The day is not far when it will have to pay for its opportunism”. He cautioned the insensitive dispensation against divisive politics and said dividing society into bits and pieces is not in the interests of the state.
Provincial President Devender Singh Rana, while addressing the gathering, expressed concern over politics of hate and intolerance being pursued by the PDP-BJP dispensation and reiterated the pledge that National Conference will foil all these designs by maintaining unity.
Rana referred to the public anger over non-performance of the government and said this cannot be doused by diversionary tactics or indulging in rhetoric. “It cannot be averted by bringing the people of different regions and communities on eye-ball to eyeball situation, as is being attempted”, he said.
Highlighting various local issues, Provincial Youth National Conference President and former MLA Ajaz Jan said that the border dwellers, who have been the worst sufferers of shelling, have been left in lurch.
He said compensation is yet to be provided to the affected people and the government has been quite insensitive in reaching out to them in the times of crisis.
Jan also accused the present government of indulging in nepotism and favouritism in recruitment and other schemes. He regretted that solar lights sanctioned for the beneficiaries of the Poonch district are either yet to be distributed or provided to favourties.