Srinagar, Apr 21: Demanding revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), opposition National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah today said the Centre should demonstrate political will and imagination to usher Jammu and Kashmir into an era of peace, stability and progress.
"Revocation of AFSPA is the need of the hour..New Delhi should put in sustained and serious efforts to address the political alienation in Kashmir and provide a hope of reconciliation and inclusiveness to the youth of the state," he said addressing party workers at a function in Anantnag district of south Kashmir.
The function was organised to commemorate the first death anniversary of veteran party leader and former minister Abdul Gani Shah Veeri.
"Our young men and women excel in talent, wisdom and hard work and deserve to thrive in a political environment that nurtures their dreams.
"Hostility cannot be countered with denial or further hostility. New Delhi should walk the extra-mile in addressing the trust-deficit among our youth and should explore every possible opportunity to empower them as the torch-bearers of peace and progress in the state," the former Chief Minister said.
He said National Conference is committed to strive for the political resolution of the Kashmir issue and would never shelve its demand for the restoration of Autonomy and the pre-1953 status.
"These are our principled stands and we believe this is the most feasible model of resolving the political issue and would also satisfy the aspirations of our people. Others have a right to advocate their own solutions and there is absolutely no problem with that," he said.
Abdullah said any solution acceptable first and foremost to the people of Jammu and Kashmir and also to India and Pakistan would be a credible solution.
"While there might be differences in opinion and ideology, I doubt anyone could possibly deny the necessity of resolving the political issue," he said.
The National Conference chief asked party workers to ensure participation and empowerment of educated youth in the political processes that define the state's future.
"We should encourage the young generation to come and voice their grievances and aspirations from within the democratic system.
"This would be a productive medium of channelizing their passion for their state and also their commitment to stand up for the rights and dignity of their people.
"It's imperative they are groomed, nurtured and empowered," Abdullah added.