Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday lambasted a particular category of the national leadership for ‘discriminating’ against the state.
Addressing the main Independence Day function in the heavily guarded Bakshi stadium in Srinagar after unfurling the tri-colour and taking salute at the parade, the chief minister criticised them for showing complete duplicity in their approach towards the issues like Kishtwar.
“You treat similar incidents in rest of the country differently and in Jammu and Kashmir differently”, he told them and slammed this kind of treatment.
Without naming Bharatiya Janata Party and likeminded parties, Omar Abdullah said, “It is most unfortunate on the part of these leaders to discriminate Jammu and Kashmir vis-à-vis other states and show biased approach while dealing with similar matters differently in Jammu and Kashmir and the rest of the country”.
He said that he was once asked why people of Jammu and Kashmir think themselves different from the rest of the country and away from the mainstream. “I got the reply to this question by the approach and treatment shown by these national leaders regarding the Kishtwar incident.”
“In fact it is you who treat the state and its people differently, consider them separate identity, deal with them in a biased approach and exhibit a peculiar mind-set towards the people of Jammu and Kashmir”, he said.
He asked these national leaders as to why they didn’t show any concern over these incidents, initiated debates in the Parliament and on TV channels, tried to rush to the spots, tweeted on Twitter, wrote columns in newspapers and created hype.
“This is the duplicity in your approach and this makes the difference. This is the why people of the Jammu and Kashmir think that they are different from rest of the country. It is you who make them to think like this.”
Asking these national leaders to bring change in their mind set, the chief minister said that 'integration between the people of the country and the state cannot be achieved through provisions of law or acts but when you show same concern and extend same treatment to the state which you do for rest of the country'.
The chief minister also expressed his serious concern over the tension along Line of Control and borders and on violation of ceasefire, and said exchange of fire from either side would not solve any issue.
He said there is need of rebuilding the confidence between the two neighbours so that dialogue process takes place.
The Independence Day functions across Jammu and Kashmir were held Thursday under tight security and were incident-free.
A complete shutdown, however, was observed in the entire Kashmir Valley called by the separatists.
The state authorities threw a tight security blanket around summer capital Srinagar where the main Independence Day function was held in Bakshi stadium this morning.
The stadium had a three tier security cover, with police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force and specially trained commandos deployed in and around it.
All roads leading to stadium had been sealed since early Thursday morning while CRPF troopers maintained tight vigil over the stadium from high-rise buildings around it.
Security forces had erected barricades at road intersections checking vehicles entering the capital city and frisking pedestrians for the past three days.
Image: Omar Abdullah receiving the guard of honour at Srinagar on Thursday
Photograph: Umar Ganie