The custodial killing of a teenager in Kashmir has claimed its first political casualty, Kashmir’s main opposition party National Conference has pulled out of all sorts of dialogue processes between Delhi and Srinagar.
It would not take part in any of the working groups and round table conferences till such time there is a clear evidence of the protection of human rights in letter and spirit.
National Conference President Omar Abdullah who visited Pakharpora township in the central Kashmir district of Budgam on Tuesday where a teenager Maqbool Dar was allegedly killed in custody of the army, told Hindustan Times that he had made it clear to thousands of people there that "National Conference has suspended its association with all sorts of dialogue processes."
The most shocking and surprising for National Conference, which is the largest political group in the state legislative Assembly, and strong political voice in the Valley that even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s assurance is not being honoured.
"Prime Minister says that there will be a zero tolerance to the human rights violations, and then we have the custodial killings too often, people are killed on streets and so on.
That in clear terms that the PM’s word is being disrespected," Omar said. He was referring to Prime Minister’s promise to the people of Kashmir that there would be no room for the human rights violations by security forces.
Manmohan Singh had declared this during the course of the May 24-25 second round table conference in Srinagar. Omar Abdullah and his father and former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah had taken part in the conference. Omar had also taken part in the first round table conference in Delhi on February 25.
This is a big jolt to peace process in the state. National Conference leaders have been vibrant participants in the five working groups constituted at the end of the second round table conference.
Omar said that National Conference would have understood that if at the local level "healing touch" policy would not have been respected or the state government would have failed, but when Prime Minister says something, and it doesn’t happen. That is shocking. "We are out of this," he declared.
"Unless we are conveyed a substantial progress in the protection of human rights we will stay out."