Press Trust of India

Centre needs to address root cause of terrorism in JK: Farooq Abdullah

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Jammu: Terrorism is alive in Jammu and Kashmir and it cannot be finished by the use of military or police, National Conference president Farooq Abdullah said on Sunday, urging the Centre to find ways to address the root cause of the menace.

The former chief minister said the common people should also understand the futility of the continued bloodshed as innocents are losing their lives to terrorism.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a book release function here, Abdullah slammed the BJP over its claims of normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Shouting normalcy or propagating tourist arrivals as peace will not finish terrorism which is still alive. They were claiming that terrorism has finished with the abrogation of Article 370 (in 2019) but four years down the line, terrorism is still there and will not finish till we try to understand its root cause,” Abdullah said.

He was reacting to the killing of retired police officer Mohd Shafi who was shot dead by terrorists inside a mosque while delivering ‘azan’ (call for prayer) at his Gantmulla village in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.

“I regret the killing (of the officer). Those who are claiming normalcy are silent… they tried to heal the wounds in a superficial manner rather than addressing the root cause. The commoners should understand that we are losing our soldiers, officers and commoners,” Abdullah said.

The National Conference president said he fails to understand how the perpetrators of violence are going to benefit by killing innocent persons.

“The central government had to find ways in the right perspective to end bloodshed in Jammu and Kashmir. We are part of India, we were part of India and we will remain part of India and if we have to end terrorism, we have to look for ways rather than claiming normalcy or talking about tourism which is fragile under the shadow of terrorism,” he said.

The use of military or police is not going to finish terrorism, he said. “We have to go deeper and address the root cause to finish it off.”

Asked about growing terror activities in the twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri, Abdullah said this contradicts the government’s claims that everything is ‘honky-dory’.

“Where are those shouting normalcy? Nothing is going to be achieved by propaganda as people are dying here. They have to find a solution and Farooq Abdullah does not have a book with a ready-made solution,” he said.

Asked whether he wants India and Pakistan to talk to address the problem, Abdullah said the central government has to decide on the subject.

In a separate interaction with media persons, Abdullah expressed concern over the alleged custodial death of three civilians in the aftermath of the killing of five soldiers in an ambush in Surankote area of Poonch and said the war against terrorism cannot be won without the support of the people.

“Terrorists attacked and martyred our brave soldiers and later three locals were tortured to death. This is tragic as we are fighting against terrorism and not against our own people. If we annoy our people, we will never win this war,” he said.

Abdullah said his party has already sought a judicial inquiry into the killing of the three civilians and “I would like to add that home minister (Amit Shah) should visit the area and assure the people that those involved will be handed down an exemplary punishment. The killing of the civilians is a sad incident and a human rights violation.”

Press Trust of India

Press Trust of India is lead news agency of India

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