Targeting of Kashmiris has set back process of reconciliation by decades: Sajad Lone
Srinagar, Feb 21: Expressing serious concern over targeting and harassment of Kashmiris across the country, Peoples Conference Chairman Sajad Gani Lone Thursday said that the recent incidents have come as a huge setback to the process of integration and reconciliation.
“The targeted harassment and attacks on Kashmiris at various places across the country has set back the process of reconciliation by decades,” he said.
Asserting that the perennial sense of anxiety that Kashmiris are not safe in other parts of the country had been overcome and erased to a great extent in the previous decade as students, professionals and businessmen from Kashmir pursued their studies and their businesses in various states with a sense of safety and security, Lone said the recent incidents have “yet again revitalised the old sense of anxiety and given rise to widespread apprehensions – which is extremely sad.”
In a party press release, Lone said that Kashmiris have borne the brunt of turmoil and have been at the receiving end of the violence for last three decades and these attacks will further disenchant people of Kashmir.
“By attacking and harassing people from Kashmir, fringe elements are only pushing the average Kashmiri young man farther away from the idea of India and from the mainstream. Given the innumerable and invaluable sacrifices rendered by Kashmiris due to a prolonged conflict and turmoil, this is tragic and heart-breaking,” he added.
Seeking stringent action against the perpetrators of attacks on Kashmiris, Lone said that state governments should take all possible measures to ensure safety and security of Kashmiris.
“I appeal to the central government and all state governments to ensure that those behind such reprehensible intimidation and targeted harassment are apprehended and brought to book immediately. There should be zero tolerance for such acts.
“I also appeal to the central government and the state governments to take all possible measures to ensure the sense of safety among Kashmiris living in various states is restored as soon as possible. Any complacency in ensuring this would have disastrous consequences on the psyche of young Kashmiris,” he added.