No fresh exodus of minorities in Kashmir should happen: Omar
New Delhi: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said that no fresh exodus of minorities from Kashmir should happen.
“All of us should try our level best to ensure that we do not see a fresh exodus of minorities from Kashmir”, he said, adding that no one community feels safer than the other.
“Whatever can be done to stem this and to restore the sense of security to these communities must be done. Obviously, the lion’s share of this work has to be done by the administration but as the majority community, we also carry some of that responsibility. We must fulfill that responsibility”, he told PTI in an interview here.
Voicing concern over the recent killing of civilians, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Wednesday said “everyone is feeling unsafe”, and asked the administration to give the people a sense of security cutting across religions.
Pointing out that terror attacks in the Union Territory this year had claimed the lives of 28 civilians cutting across religious lines, Abdullah, who is the vice-president of the National Conference (NC), at the same time hoped there will not be a fresh exodus of Kashmiri Pandits and Sikhs, both of whom had been targeted in the recent days.
Abdullah, however, refrained from terming the recent attacks as an intelligence failure, saying: “… I think it’s the failure to act on intelligence. That is a failure you cannot just blame the police for because the counter-militancy operations are conducted by police, paramilitary and military. It is the collective failure of our counter-insurgency grid.”
Expressing concern about locals joining various terror groups, he said this is an issue that the government and political parties should be concerned about.
“I am not privy to statistics, I don’t know the numbers but from my own colleagues, I do understand that this trend continues and it is not a trend limited to a particular area, we hear these reports from south, central and north Kashmir,” he said.
“It is something that should concern us and again it is for the government to create the necessary conditions that these youngsters do not get attracted to the idea of picking up a gun,” he added.
Abdullah recalled the statement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 24 this year of removing dil ki doori and Dilli ki doori (removing distance between hearts and between Delhi and Srinagar) and suggested, “If we take some concrete steps in this direction, even this move towards joining militant tanzeems, I think we will be able to reduce it to a great extent. We may not be able to eradicate it but we will be able to reduce it”.
Abdullah asserted that the situation in Afghanistan would have no impact on the security situation in Kashmir other than the distinct possibility that it may act as a morale booster for militant groups operating in the Union Territory.