SRINAGAR: Saying that 4,000 Kashmiris have disappeared in custody since 1990, the president of opposition National Conference Omar Abdullah has renewed his demand for a truth and reconciliation commission (TRC). Talking to journalists at a news conference here, Omar said that “more and more people” are lending support to his demand for setting up a TRC. Even the Pakistan government, he claimed, has felt the need for such a commission.
“In the recent past the issue of the unmarked graves took the centre-stage here and it is imperative that this issue is looked in a proper perspective. Once the TRC is set up it should be asked to probe the same so that the identity of the people buried in these unmarked graves is established,” Omar said. Commenting on the custodial disappearances, he said that according to the figures available with his party, 4,000 people have been subjected to custodial disappearance in the state.
“The government says that 150 persons have disappeared, and once the issue is probed by the TRC the exact number of people disappeared would be known once and for all,” he added. He said that political parties want to draw mileage out of the issue of custodial disappearances. He added that the issue is of human nature and needs to be resolved on humanitarian grounds.
Expressing his disappointment over “half-hearted” implementation of recommendations of the working groups constituted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Omar said that New Delhi was adopting “pick and choose” policy in implementing the recommendations of the working groups.
“I believe that I have fallen in the trap of Congress and have helped them in the preparation of their manifesto for the forthcoming assembly elections. As the elections are approaching fast the recommendations of the working groups which are not so important are being implemented. It is necessary that pick and choose policy is stopped at the earliest, and I want to convey the message to the Prime Minister,” NC president said.
He regretted that New Delhi was silent on the recommendations of the working group constituted to look into Centre-State relations. “Kashmir issue is a political issue and it cannot be solved by means of packages or by using military might. It has to be solved through political means, and our stand of Autonomy is the most-viable solution to this issue. However, the NC would be happy if a solution other than Autonomy is acceptable to the people of the state,” he said.-SANA