Lack of Elected Government Hinders Progress in Jammu and Kashmir, Says Farooq Abdullah
Farooq Abdullah Calls for Probe into Odisha Train Accident, Seeks Accountability
04-06-2023 : The situation in Kashmir will not see any improvement until India and Pakistan engage in dialogue to determine the future of the Union Territory, according to National Conference president Farooq Abdullah. Speaking to reporters, Abdullah emphasized that holding the G20 event in Kashmir will not contribute to the growth of tourism in the Valley without addressing the underlying issues. He highlighted the heavy losses being incurred by Jammu and Kashmir due to the absence of an elected government.
Abdullah acknowledged the positive impact of the G20 event, stating that infrastructure improvements were made, including road repairs, fresh paint on walls, and functioning streetlights. However, he emphasized that these developments alone are insufficient to bring about a significant transformation in the region.
The absence of an elected government in Jammu and Kashmir was a cause for concern for Abdullah, who emphasized that democracy thrives when there is an elected administration in place. He criticized the current system, where one Lieutenant Governor and his advisor oversee the entire state, while elected representatives, such as MLAs, are responsible for their respective areas. He stressed the importance of holding elections in the region and expressed his party’s readiness for them at any time.
Responding to Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha’s assertion that some parties had manipulated previous elections, Abdullah suggested that avenues such as approaching the high court or the election commission were available to address any such concerns. He cited historical examples, including the ousting of Indira Gandhi by the High Court, as evidence of the existence of mechanisms to ensure fair elections.
Turning to the tragic train accident in Odisha, Abdullah described it as one of the major disasters in the world. With over 300 fatalities and hundreds more injured, he called for a thorough investigation to determine the cause of the incident and hold those responsible accountable.
Farooq Abdullah’s remarks shed light on the need for dialogue between India and Pakistan to resolve the future of Kashmir and emphasized the importance of a democratically elected government in Jammu and Kashmir. He also called for a comprehensive investigation into the recent train accident in Odisha.