Separatist leaders’ arrest to add fuel to fire: Farooq

Srinagar: National Conference (NC) President and candidate for Srinagar Lok Sabha by-poll in Jammu and Kashmir, Farooq Abdullah on Thursday said that the detention of separatist leaders will precipitate an already volatile situation in Kashmir.

Abdullah was addressing an election meeting in north Kashmir’s Ganderbal district, organised jointly by the NC and the Congress. He is the joint candidate of the two parties against ruling PDP’s Nazir Ahmad Khan from the seat.

Abdullah said New Delhi could not unilaterally address the problems of the Kashmiri people, as everybody including the separatists had to be taken on board to address these problems.

Criticising the state government’s decision, which has placed all senior separatist leaders either under house arrest or in preventive custody, the NC leader said the decision would only precipitate an already volatile situation here.

Abdullah alleged that the crackdown against separatist leaders had been done at the behest of the central government.

He said the decision not to allow separatist leaders to attend the function at Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi, to which the separatists had been invited, would only aggregate the situation in the Valley.

“Kashmiris have never succumbed to pressure as they have always fought for their honour and dignity,” he said.

The NC President said he had cautioned the people about the alleged dubious designs of the PDP when he fought the last parliamentary election from Srinagar in 2014, which he had lost.

“I am cautioning you again this time against treacherous role of the PDP that is an ally of such forces who are persecuting Muslims across the country by painting them as anti-nationals,” he said.