SRINAGAR: Democratic Azad Party (DAP) chief and former Chief Minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad has said that J&K was facing political, social, and economic crisis for the last more than 3 decades and that there was a need for people to come together to get out of the situation.
Addressing a public gathering in North Kashmir’s Karnah, Azad also said that he would not promise to get Article 370 back, but would make efforts in this direction.
“I do not promise to bring back Article 370, but I will try to bring it back. I raised my voice everywhere, be it Rajya Sabha or the Lok Sabha; but the solution cannot come out until like-minded people are in the absolute majority,” Azad said.
He noted that getting back Article 370 was totally in the hands of the Central Government while underlining that he is in favor of getting it back.
“I can say that the people of J&K have the right to the land. I am in favor of bringing back Article 370. Article 370 was part of our Constitution, it was not against anyone,” he said.
The whole country and the whole world is going through an economic crisis while J&K has been going through a political, social and economic crisis for the last 35 years, he said.
Azad said that the period of militancy in J&K was a period of destruction and the same, he said, resulted in our daughters becoming widows, and lakhs of children becoming orphans.
He said that J&K is facing economic crisis particularly post-COVID and currently people are living their lives under difficult circumstances.
“Due to COVID, our industries were closed, businesses were shut, jobs were lost; youth of J&K do not have jobs; there is no Government, there is no MLA, there is no Minister, people here have been forced to live a difficult life,” he said.
Recalling the earthquake which struck Kashmir during his tenure, Azad said that there were no houses for people to live in (in Karnah), and hospitals and educational institutions were destroyed. “But during my rule, hospitals were built here and did everything to make the lives of people easier,” he said.
Azad said that today people are taking credit for doing this and that, but the reality is, he said, that they should apologize to people for not executing what they had promised.
“I was the only leader who made 11 visits to Karnah after the earthquake; these people who take credit for everything should be ashamed; if someone gets to inaugurate the projects that were started during my time, that does not mean they did everything,” he said.
Azad said that he made it possible to have the biggest hospital at the tehsil and district level in J&K, which, he said, was unheard of anywhere in the country. “I made grand hospitals in all the 22 districts of erstwhile J&K State and made sure that the Sub Divisions also get what they deserve; 50 hospitals, equal to the hospitals in districts, were constructed during my time in the Sub-Divisions,” he said.(Agencies)