National Conference on Saturday said the killing of 11 year old Junaid Ahmed Akhoon of Eidgah was heartbreaking and horrific and had exposed the ruthless response of the Government towards a political sentiment it continues to ridicule ant stifle through mass repression. Expressing profound grief and sorrow and extending heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family, Senior National Conference Leader and MLA Eidgah Mubarak Gul said National Conference stands in solidarity with Junaid’s family in their moment of inconsolable loss and sorrow. “Junaid was an innocent young child who was shot at without any provocation or reason and today even his funeral procession was assaulted with pellets, tear-gass shells and lathis. This is the height of barbarism”, Mubarak Gul said.
Lashing out at the State Government for unleashing a wave of terror and repression in Kashmir, Mubarak Gul said there was a clear and evident attempt to persecute the people into submission and adherence. “Rather than engaging with the people, talking to Hurriyat leaders and making efforts to re-start a diplomatic process with Pakistan, the Central Government and the State Government are singularly focussed on using mass repression, nocturnal raids, arrests and brutality as a tool of evasion against the people of Kashmir. This is highly counterproductive and will add to the palpable sense of alienation among the people”, Mubarak Gul said in the statement issued from Party Headquarters on Saturday.
“Locking up Sufi Shrines and Mosques and disallowing Friday prayers is a direct interference into the religious affairs of the people and violates our fundamental rights. Locking up Sufi Shrines has become a routine practice at the Police Station level now and this is an assault on our religious sentiments, our social fabric and our heritage. Mehbooba Mufti should not take the patience of people for granted”, Mubarak Gul further said.
The Senior National Conference Leader and Former Speaker of the Legislative Assembly said it was imperative for New Delhi and Islamabad to start a meaningful, sustained and credible dialogue to find a lasting solution to the Kashmir Issue. “War mongering will not yield favourable results for either India or Pakistan. There is absolutely no alternative to talks and both countries should realize their obligation towards the suffering, tormented people of Kashmir who have suffered for decades due to the prolonged conflict. New Delhi should acknowledge both internal and external dimensions of the political issue and talk to Hurriyat leadership and all other stakeholders internally while engaging with Pakistan externally”, the Senior NC leader added. “The State Government has also initiated a crackdown on those civil society groups who have done commendable work in the current unrest by running free langars, kitchens and voluntary assistance groups at various hospitals.
Rather than bowing their heads in shame and acknowledging the commendable work done by these individuals and groups, the Chief Minister has ordered that these langars should be removed and the organizers be harassed. This is sheer sadism and indicates the level of disdain the Chief Minister harbours for the people”, Mubarak Gul added. Asking India and Pakistan to take concrete steps to create an atmosphere conducive for dialogue, Mubarak Gul said there should be immediate Confidence Building Measures aimed at de-escalating the situation between the two countries and providing a sense of reprieve and healing in Kashmir. The NC leader also said the work done by local doctors during the current unrest was exemplary and said they deserved all praise and tributes. "Our doctors have worked under extremely testing circumstances and saved hundreds of lives. They have yet again proven their mettle and we salute their commitment and dedication", Mubarak Gul said. (KNS)