‘Educated youth joining militancy a serious issue’

It could encourage Al-Qaeda to focus on Kashmir: Mehbooba

Opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti Tuesday said joining of militancy by highly educated youth in Kashmir was a “serious issue”. She said such a trend could encourage Al-Qaeda to turn focus towards Kashmir.
“Highly educated youth are joining militant ranks due to the State Government’s oppressive and anti-youth policies. It is a matter of great concern,” Mehbooba told a press conference here, day after a youth was killed in firing by government forces in Sopore. She said the US troops’ scheduled withdrawal from Afghanistan was nearing and the situation in Iraq was going worse.
“There is a general concern what will be the impact (of US withdrawal from Afghanistan) and of the situation in Iraq (where militant organization ISIS has pushed government to the edge) on Kashmir,” Mehbooba said.
“The anti-youth policies are pushing our boys towards the path they don’t want to tread and there is a concern that Kashmir is turning into a breeding ground for new wave of militancy.”
The PDP MP said killing of Arshad Ahmad Shah by government forces in Sopore during protests following the encounter in which one militant was killed and another escaped and similar incidents “are pushing Kashmiri youth to take the path they don’t want to tread”.
“Both in north as well as south Kashmir educated youth are joining militancy. This is a challenge not only for the state Government but the Government of India as well,” Mehbooba said.
She said there are reports that five to six educated youth who had gone missing in north Kashmir have joined militancy.
“This is happening because of the atrocities committed by police, security forces and government on the youth,” Mehbooba said.
Mehbooba also lashed out at the state government for failing to provide ration and regular power and water supply to people across J&K.

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