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Address fear over panchayat polls: Farooq to JK government

Press Trust of India  |  Srinagar 

(NC) today expressed concern about the security situation in the Valley and urged the state to tackle the "shadow of fear" looming over the forthcoming elections in

The had the right to hold polls, but it had to also ensure the safety of the people, he said.

"It is the prerogative of the to conduct elections, but it is also the responsibility of the same to protect its citizens and safeguard their lives, Abdullah said while addressing party workers here.

He expressed concern over the shadows of fear and intimidation" in the run-up to election, slated to be held next month. Some militants groups have threatened to grievously harm candidates.

The said such threats should be taken seriously by the state

These alarming threats should be taken seriously by the state and, before any decisions are taken, the security situation in the state should be taken into account," he said.

The member from also underlined the alienation of the Valley's youth, who, he said, were being drawn towards armed militancy.

With every passing day we are witnessing educated young men taking the path of armed militancy in a trend which threatens to take the state back to the throes of turmoil and uncertainty that we witnessed in the early '90s, he said.

In the past three years, people had witnessed "one ideological compromise after another" by those in power, which, he held, had a direct and adverse impact on the youth.

"The security scenario in the Valley is a matter of serious concern and underlines the political vacuum that has resulted in accentuating the alienation on the ground, especially among the youth," Abdullah said.

The "rhetoric of reconciliation" was of little use in view of the the growing disenchantment and disillusionment among the youth, he added.

"The youth deserve more than the occasional rhetorical statement or press note, he said.

The added that the Central and state governments had to realise the "unimaginable consequences of allowing the atmosphere of disenchantment to persist in the Valley".

Abdullah alleged that the PDP-BJP had failed to wean the youth away from isolation because of "ideological U-turns and contradictions".

It is the onerous responsibility of the state to reach out to the youth and bring the Valley back to the path of stability and peace," he said.

But, he alleged, the state continued to alienate the people- through its "complete governance failures or numerous political compromises and U-turns".

Reiterating the need for a sustained, structured and result-oriented dialogue between and over all outstanding issues including Kashmir, he said there was no alternative to dialogue.

Seeking a dialogue with is a matter of realism and is based on our aspiration to see an end to instability, violence, death and destruction in

"We have always sought dialogue both on the internal and external fronts," he said.

and needed to restore the "credibility and sanctity of the institution of dialogue" and stakeholders within the state should also be taken on board to make the process meaningful, he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, January 10 2018. 21:15 IST