The differential treatment meted out to J&K is fuelling its alienation and as long as it continues, the state cannot be integrated into the country, chief minister Omar Abdullah said during his Independence Day speech on Thursday.
His outburst was a fallout of the ruckus in Parliament over the Kishtwar communal clashes. It also raised the hackles of the BJP, whom Abdullah indirectly blamed for fuelling the fire.
The treatment given to the Kishtwar clashes, Abdullah said, provided the answer to why Kashmiris consider themselves “separate from the mainstream”. “We are treated differently, like we are not part of the mainstream. You want to scrap the Article 370 (of the Indian constitution) to integrate (Kashmir) fully with the rest of the country, but you treat us separately,” he said. “As long as you do, integration will not happen by changing clauses of the constitution. It will happen when you change your attitude."
To prove his point, Abdullah cited official toll for communal violence in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Gujarat and the recent trouble in Bihar’s Nawada.
“For God's sake, tell me, does anybody raise this issue in Parliament?” he added. “Did any big leader go to those places to express solidarity with the people? How many newspaper columns were written about those incidents?“
He said photos of Burma had been circulated as photographs of the Kishtwar violence to exploit the sentiments of people. And he thanked the people in Kishtwar for showing maturity and not letting the situation to go out of control.
Only dialogues can settle issue: Omar
Srinagar: Chief minister Omar Abdullah has reiterated his stand that money or guns cannot solve the J&K issue and a dialogue is the only way forward.
“Time and again I have underlined that the Kashmir issue is a political issue and it is necessary to deal with it politically,” he said on Thursday. “Both internal and external dialogues are needed.”
Abdullah also expressed concern over the tension at the Line of Control and the International Border. Exchange of fire will not solve anything, he said. There is a need to rebuild confidence between the two neighbours so a dialogue can take place.