Peace in J&K will remain elusive till its special status is not restored: NC

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Srinagar, May 27 (PTI) The National Conference on Thursday said Articles 370 and 35A “bore great psychological and symbolic significance” for the people of Jammu and Kashmir and the idea of ushering peace and prosperity in the union territory will remain elusive till its special status is not restored.

A resolution to the effect was moved after a marathon virtual meeting of the party’s central working committee which was presided over by NC president Farooq Abdullah.

A spokesperson said party affairs, Covid situation in the UT, and the future course of action dominated the interaction of the leaders.

The members reiterated that progress and peace cannot be achieved until the Union government addresses the political and developmental aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said the party working committee members unanimously adopted various resolutions.

“The members sought restoration of Articles 370, 35A. The resolution noted that the idea of ushering peace and prosperity in J-K is elusive until Articles 370, 35-A aren't restored as the articles bore great psychological and symbolic significance for the people of J-K; more to the point the articles also display India's asymmetric federalism, which grants differential rights to certain federal sub units, often in recognition to their distinctive identity and historical background,” one of the resolutions read.

“The early restoration of articles will not only save the people, particularly the youth, from going on the terminal path of disillusionment but will also restore a sense of entitlement to them,” it said.

In another resolution, the party conveyed condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones to COVID-19 and expressed concern over the response of the incumbent administration in tackling the public health crisis.

Expressing concern over the spread of COVID-19 in Jammu and Kashmir and its resultant impact in terms of loss of precious lives, back-sliding of development and ruining of local economy, the members unanimously called for a long term financial incentivisation and inclusive revival programme and short term Covid care and sustenance plan for the affected people to tide over the losses incurred by them.

The party also expressed concern over the unabated rise in the number of unemployed educated people, and skilled youth, saying “never has the youth of J&K felt so disempowered, dejected and discarded as it is at present”.

The resolution demanded taking of immediate steps to give a sense of belonging to the local youth to help them achieve their full potential and through them enable J&K a rightful place in the union of states within the country, the spokesperson said.

The party rued “widespread unaccountability” on the ground in J&K and Ladakh attributing it to the “unconnected and airdropped” bureaucrats who according to the NC were unconscious and unacquainted to local topography and developmental needs of the people.

The spokesperson said during the meeting, the members reflected on the far-reaching political and economic consequences confronted by the people in the shape of skidding the economy from the path of growth and soaring unemployment.

While interacting with the members, the party president called for collective action to combat the pandemic.

Abdullah exhorted the functionaries to lend all support to the ongoing battle against the coronavirus and called for a sustaining zero-covid strategy to eliminate the deadly virus from the region.

Stressing on unity and common purpose as a potent weapon to combat the virus spread, Abdullah said the ongoing situation is a call to action for everyone to work together.

The NC president appreciated the health workers on the frontlines and the personnel manning essential services for their spirit of collaboration saying the efforts of lakhs of ground staffers, health workers and other frontline workers portrays the truism about indisputability of collective action in combating emergencies.

NC vice-president Omar Abdullah, apart from raising other issues, expressed sympathy with the families whose loved ones died due to Covid. PTI SSB RHL