PDP ran with hares, hunting with hounds: Farooq

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Farooq said undermining India’s inclusive ethos came with a grave risk of alienating the youth of Kashmir at a time when efforts should be made to usher the state into a new era of reconciliation and peace.”Frequent targeting of a particular community by fringe elements is further alienating youth in Kashmir from national mainstream as these incidents give lot of ammunition to peace inimical forces, who capitalise it by exploiting the situation,” the National Conference president said while addressing workers at Paloura here this afternoon.He cautioned against religious intolerance, saying those pursuing politics based on religion were doing much disservice to the country. “India has to grow as a vibrant inclusive and tolerant nation for which religious harmony is imperative,” he said, adding that any untoward incident anywhere across the country was bound to have negative fallout in the Valley where various forces were active to disturb peace. He said selective targeting of a particular community had potential to create suspicion in the minds of Kashmiri youth about future of Muslims in India and therefore it was incumbent upon those pursuing jingoistic and divisive politics as a fashion statement of their being ultra-nationalists to desist from harming the national interest.”No effort of winning hearts and minds of youth in Kashmir will succeed as long as believers of communal politics continue to get centre-stage and official patronage,” Farooq said, while decrying the machinations being perpetrated by enemies of India’s inclusiveness. He cautioned them against the risk of harming unity of India and its secular ethos.”India has to grow and sustain as secular nation as envisioned by Mahatma Gandhi,” NC president said adding this was the motivating factor for Sher-e-Kashmir to align with the Indian domain.Elaborating his point, the National Conference president referred to unprecedented unity displayed in the valley by Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs during 1947 by challenging the raiders collectively with wooden guns and chanting slogans of amity. “Similarly, the people of Jammu rose to the occasion when a segment of society migrated from Kashmir in 1990,” he said while emphasising the need for maintaining this time tested unity, based on the state’s unique composite ethos and preserving single entity of Jammu and Kashmir. “The day any of the two binding factors-religious and regional unity– weakens, the future of the state will be in peril,” he added. Farooq came down heavily on opportunistic politics being played by PDP-BJP coalition and said that despite pretending to be ideologically different they were pulling on together in the government with a similar agenda of polarizing the state for electoral gains. “PDP ran with the hares to feign sympathy and empathy for the people of Kashmir and today they are unabashedly hunting with the proverbial hounds after having bartered their mandate at the altar of political power,” NC president said. Without referring to Mehbooba Mufti’s latest posturing, the National Conference president said that people of Kashmir would have a right to know whether PDP could stand with those they befriended and consequently betrayed during the period of armed turmoil in the Valley or their new-found allies who wanted to enforce their specific definitions of nationalism on the people of the country in general and the state of Jammu and Kashmir in particular.The National Conference president cautioned people against the elements playing divisive politics based on region and religion. He said those practising religion based politics were actually using religion for furthering their petty political agenda.Provincial president Devender Singh Rana also addressed the gathering and stressed the need for maintaining unity and tranquility by isolating divisive elements.He exhorted the cadre to fan out in their areas and carry the message of peace, unity and amity, which forms bedrock of the National Conference philosophy.District president NC Jammu Urban Dharamveer Singh Jamwal besides, Ashok Singh Manhas, were present on the occasion.Earlier, Farooq along with Rana met the vice presidents of Jammu province at Sher-e-Kashmir Bhavan and discussed party affairs. He took stock of the functioning of various district units in the region besides other wings of the party.He sought detailed feedback about the party activities at the district and block levels and called for further rejuvenating the cadre to meet the challenges unfolded by uncertain political environment in the state.”Jammu and Kashmir is passing through a difficult stage and National Conference has a huge role in steering the state to political stability and peace,” he observed and urged the functionaries to monitor functioning of various units across the region.Besides, Jammu based state vice presidents, the meeting was attended by all the provincial vice presidents of Jammu who discussed the party functioning threadbare. Later, some prominent youth activists of Jammu joined National Conference in presence of Dr Farooq Abdullah and Devender Singh Rana. The two leaders exuded confidence that their joining would further make the party stronger at the grass roots level.

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