Stone pelting youth giving up life for resolution of Kashmir issue: Farooq

Remarks worrisome, says Jitendra Singh
Report by: 
5 Apr 2017

Stone-pelting youth were not giving up their lives for tourism but for resolution of the Kashmir issue as per the wishes of its people, National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah today said. "If he (stone pelting youth) is giving up his life, he is not doing it for tourism. He is giving his life so that the destiny of this nation is decided which should be acceptable to the people of this place. This needs to be understood," Abdullah said at an election meeting in Sonawar constituency here. The former chief minister was reacting to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's statement on April 2 at the inauguration of Chenani-Nashri tunnel that the youth of Kashmir need to choose between tourism and terrorism. "Recently the tunnel was opened. He (the Prime Minister) said the youth here should think whether they want tourism or terrorism. I want to tell Modi sahib tourism is our lifeline, there is no doubt about it. "But he is a stone pelter. He has nothing to do with tourism. He will starve to death but he is pelting stones for his nation and there is a need to understand this," Abdullah said. Abdullah is contesting the bye-election to Srinagar Lok Sabha seat as the joint candidate of opposition National Conference and Congress. The polling in the constituency will be held on April 9. Meanwhile, Union Minister Jitendra Singh today dubbed as "worrisome" NC chief Farooq Abdullah's defence of stone-pelters in Kashmir and accused him of getting tempted to speak the "language of separatists" for electoral gains. Abdullah, who is contesting the bypoll to Srinagar Lok Sabha seat, earlier today said that the stone-pelting youth from the valley were giving their lives for resolution of Kashmir dispute and not for tourism. The former J&K chief minister's comments came in response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's April 2 appeal that the state's "misguided" youth should choose tourism over terrorism. "It is quite worrisome...a politician of the stature of Abdullah has also come under pressure of upcoming polls and therefore has felt tempted to speak the language of the separatists," Singh told reporters outside Parliament. Referring to the 1994 Parliament resolution that Pakistan -occupied Kashmir (PoK) be liberated from the neighbouring country and be merged with India, Singh said Abdullah's party had supported the position. The minister also said that Abdullah had stated on record several times that India should "bombard" terror training camps operating from Pakistani soil. "It seems that just in a bid to woo a certain constituency, some of the Kashmir-centric campaigners have felt tempted to use the jargon of separatists," Singh added.The minister further said Abdullah's remarks raise a "larger question" if one should succumb to expediency of electioneering "at the cost of consistency when it comes to nationalist views and beliefs".(PTI)