Srinagar : National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah on Tuesday expressed dismay over the LG administrations’ failure to identify the nexus behind drug trade and taking measures to stamp it out.
He said this while addressing an extraordinary session of the provincial committee meeting of the Kashmir province at party headquarters Nawa-e-Subha, Srinagar. He said the issue of drug abuse in Jammu and Kashmir has assumed alarming proportions that cannot be ignored anymore.
“It is a bitter reality that Jammu and Kashmir is rapidly outpacing other states in the country in terms of drug use but surprisingly the incumbent administration is treating the issue lightly. As far as we are concerned, there should be no room for non seriousness towards tackling the rising cases of drug abuse,” he said.
Party General Secretary Haji Ali Muhammad Sagar, Additional General Secretary Dr. Sheikh Mustafa Kamal, Treasurer Shammi Oberoi, Provincial President Nasir Aslam Wani, Chief Spokesperson Tanvir Sadiq and other office bearers, Provincial functionaries, Zone Presidents, District Presidents, In Charge Constituencies and provincial committee members attended the meet.
The agenda of the meeting was Rising cases of drug abuse in the valley – What can be done to stop this dangerous trend. During the breadth of the meeting, the participants deliberated upon various dimensions related to the topic and also gave a detailed estimation of the trend of drug abuse in their respective areas. The meeting was also marked by threadbare discussions on the party’s role in addressing the issue.
In his address Omar Abdullah said, “Whatever we do is for future generations and whatever we earn and build in life, we do it with the intention of handing it over to our next generation. But if we continue to see our children destroyed by a scourge like drugs, then what is the purpose of our hard work? We are engaged in a political and constitutional struggle for the restoration of our rights. We will strengthen the infrastructure in Jammu and Kashmir, we will develop and promote tourism, but the generation for which we are doing all this will not be able to thrive if the issue of drug abuse remains unaddressed.”
Describing the eradication of drug abuse as a collective struggle, Omar said that the government has a lot of responsibility. “As a society we also have a role to play, we cannot rely on the government alone. Drug rehabilitation centers, counselling centers, treatment and policing are the work of the government. But as a society we have to make people aware about it, to make the youth aware of the negative effects of drugs and to help the youth who are addicted to drugs. It is the responsibility of all of us to bring them back,” he said.
He further added, “The purpose of the meeting was to send a message that current situation vis a vis drug abuse is alarming for Jammu and Kashmir, and we being the premier political party cannot shut our eyes on it, rather we have to come forward and share the critical responsibility of eradicating this menace that is devouring our youth.”
Omar Abdullah said that it is a pity that no one is ready to take responsibility, only allegations are being made that youth are being pushed into drug addiction under a conspiracy. “There is no denying the complicit attitude of the incumbent government about it. It goes without saying that the administration has turned blind eye to the trade nexus behind the menace. But we being a part & parcel of this society cannot shy away from our responsibilities. Drug menace was assumed to be an issue confined to cities but it has spread its tentacles in our villages as well. Initially it was believed to be rampant among boys only, but today, as per many reports, a large number of young girls and women are also affected by this menace. It should be a matter of concern for every sensitive citizen.”
He urged every person associated with the party to start their activities in every district, every constituency, every block and every constituency in the fight against drugs ensuring active participation and cooperation of the people.
On the occasion it was unanimously decided that in coming days the party will release a white paper identifying the scale of the problem, failures at administrative level and the party’s vision for mitigating the issue. Senior party leader and former Minister AR Rather along with other members has been tasked to compile the party’s road map on the issue. (GNS)