National Conference on Thursday lashed out at the State Government for the selective and politically motivated ban on stone-quarry operations in Athwajan and Panthachowk. Condemning the repressive move, NC State Spokesperson Junaid Azim Mattu said it was evident the local MLA was a part and parcel of this intrigue and no amount of street theatrics could absolve him of depriving thousands of souls of livelihood and peace.“We strongly condemn the selective ban on stone quarrying in Athwajan and Pantha Chowk and it is evident a particular area has been selectively targeted with the full support of the local MLA. The local MLA should stop running with the hare and hunting with the hound and realize how this move clearly amounts to stabbing his constituents in the back”, the NC Spokesperson said.The NC State Spokesperson said the Administration was reverse-engineering a pre-meditated political decision to ban stone quarry operations in Athwajan and Pantha Chowk and the committee’s report that explains this ban starts with the pre-established notion that such a ban was not only necessary but also fair and just. “The committee’s report is extremely flawed and full of technical contradictions. It is evident that an effort has been made to justify a pre-meditated decision to economically persecute not only quarry-owners and workers but thousands of individuals directly or indirectly dependent on stone-quarrying in this belt for their livelihood”, Junaid Mattu further added.
“Now the local MLA might sit on dharnas on the highway all he wants and try to fool the people into believing that he is a valiant rebel who disagrees with his own Government on this ban. First of all, such theatrical performances are ridiculous as it has become clear beyond an iota of doubt that the local MLA had facilitated this ban and never voiced a note of opposition in front of the Chief Minister. Secondly, if the local MLA is not taken into confidence and treated with such contempt by his own party and Government that he has to come out and sit on a dharna against his own Government’s decisions – he should immediately resign as a mark of protest rather than wasting his time fooling the people”, the NC Spokesperson added.The NC Spokesperson said National Conference would oppose all generalized, mindless and regressive measures that are aimed at rendering people jobless in already trying and tumultuous circumstances. “We demand the stone quarry operations should be resumed in a scientific and safe manner and the Government should facilitate adherence to safety standards rather than completely shutting down operations. A Government’s efficiency is gauged by how it resolves problems through mutually beneficial solutions rather than resorting to persecution and negativity under the fig leaf of conservation. The Administration should use its imagination and come up with a sustainable and fair solution that doesn’t hamper the economic survival of more than ten thousand souls”, the NC Spokesperson stated. (CNS)