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India’s leadership has moral duty to resolve Kashmir issue: Farooq  

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Srinagar: It’s the moral duty of the India’s leadership to resolve Kashmir issue without any further delay, National Conference President Farooq Abdullah said on Tuesday as he blamed successive governments at New Delhi for present “crisis” in Jammu and Kashmir.
Talking to various public delegations that called on him at party’s Head Office here, Farooq said there never was and never would be an alternative to a broad-based, nuanced and sustained political engagement with stakeholders in Kashmir.
“The country’s leadership is morally bound to find a sustainable solution to a political issue that has consumed thousands of lives and resulted in multiple military conflicts in the sub-continent especially detrimental to the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said, adding, “Sadly, successive Central Governments in New Delhi failed to engage with the political sentiment in Kashmir in a sustained, detailed and planned manner so that this issue could be resolved once for all.”
 While various initiatives were announced and started at various junctures, the three-time Chief Minister said that almost all of them were plagued by a lack of political will and consistency.
“The effect of these initiatives is far more crucial to the welfare of our people than purely the intent and sadly these initiatives were left halfway or were half-hearted to start with.”
 For any progress towards the goal of ushering the State and the region into a corrective era of peace and stability, Farooq, who is also parliamentarian from Srinagar, said that this pattern needs to change.
 “It is the moral duty of the Prime Minister and his Government to take every possible reconciliatory measure to initiate a process that would see the resolution of this issue as per the aspirations of the people. The Kashmir Issue has both internal and external dimensions and this makes sustained and comprehensive engagement with our neighbours equally important. Both internal and external engagement should go on simultaneously,” he said, adding, “We need to empathize with the victims of this conflict and understand their woes won’t go away by our rhetoric and stentorian speeches alone. They need closure and justice and there can be no alternative to a political initiative that is serious, politically empowered and sustainable.”
 The Government of India, he said, needs to explore every possible way to reach out to every quarter of opinion in the State irrespective of their political ideologies or rhetoric.
“We need to move away from entrenched public posturing on this issue and understand human lives are priceless and are far more important than our rhetoric. We owe the people of Kashmir our empathy and solidarity,” he said.

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