Kashmir unrest: Centre is 'impotent' against separatism in Valley, says Congress

New Delhi: Calling the Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir government "impotent", the Congress alleged on Monday that they have "failed" to check anti-national activity and violence in the Valley despite the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s "sermons" on nationalism.

The party also urged the government to take the opposition into confidence in resolving the "serious" situation in Kashmir and said if government ignores the situation, the opposition will take its own initiative.

All India Congress Committee (AICC) spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said the Congress condemns all kinds of separatism in Kashmir including the incident in Pulwama where "PoK's national song" was sung, but accused the ruling dispensation of not doing anything to control the situation from worsening.

Singhvi said that it is a "sad trajectory" since 1987 and, in the last 30 years, things have never "spiralled out of control" to the extent they have now under this government.

"Why, how is it happening? Why is this government impotent at the state as well as at the central level and yet shamelessly giving us sermons on nationalism," he said.

An Indian policeman throws a tear gas shell at Kashmiri protesters in Srinagar, Kashmir. AP

An Indian policeman throws a tear gas shell at Kashmiri protesters in Srinagar, Kashmir. AP

Singhvi said it is tragic that despite having synergy of governments at the Centre and in the state, "we are in shambles" and noted the civilian and police casualties and the terror incidents.

The Congress demanded that the Narendra Modi government come out with a blueprint for restoring peace in Kashmir Valley claiming that violence has spurted during the last three years.

The Congress's incharge of communications Randeep Surjewala said the party is willing to support the Centre's initiatives towards ushering peace in the Valley but added that the onus for creating such an atmosphere lay with the Prime Minister.

"We will support the restoration of normalcy in Kashmir but the onus lies with the government. Modi should make his stand clear. The Congress and other parties will help in restoring normalcy but policy, paradigm and way forward has to be decided by the government," he said in Jaipur.

Surjewala lamented that in the last three years, 200 soldiers and 51 civilians have lost their lives in Jammu and Kashmir, even as stone pelting and other such incidents have increased under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-BJP government.

The Congress leader said every segment of the opposition is "very-very sensitively and gravely concerned about this rise", and therefore, it is not surprising that initiatives are being undertaken for this purpose. He said such initiatives are being taken by some BJP leaders too.

"In case the government abdicates its constitutional duties for as sensitive a state as Jammu and Kashmir, it is but natural for the opposition, that otherwise may differ across the board on many issues, to get together and try their best although they were powerless beyond a point," he said on possibilities of taking a joint initiative to bring peace there.

"We as Congress party have condemned all symbolic, direct, indirect and other activities which are intended to promote separatism. We have condemned it and I repeat its condemnation," he said.

Singhvi said there have been a large number of homilies and sermons on nationalism from this government both at the Centre and in the state for the last 36 months and "yet under the nose of this government never before has J&K spiralled out of control with such incidents happening".

The Congress leader said in the last three years, this government's Kashmir policy has been changing with each passing day.

"There is a lack of consistency on the Jammu and Kashmir policy. There has not been any consistent policy and it keeps changing eight times in a week. The Kashmir policy is inconsistent, zigzag and is taking U-turns, which sends a very wrong signal," he said.

He termed the situation in Kashmir as "extremely serious" that requires the urgent attention of the government.


Updated Date: May 22, 2017 23:33 PM

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