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Drug abuse among young is fast emerging as major challenge: Mirwaiz

Extends support to Kargil residents over demands of re-opening Kargil-Skardu road

Srinagar, Feb 01 (KNS): Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Friday expressed serious concern at the alarming increase in drug abuse among the youth of the valley and said “Kashmiri nation has to come together against this menace before it turns uglier and the situation goes out of hands’.
Addressing the Friday gathering at Jamia Masjid, Mirwaiz as per a statement issued to KNS said “while on one hand we are face to face with severe repression and all our rights and resources being usurped and our youth selectively targeted on the other hand growing drug abuse among the young is fast emerging as a major challenge and eating into the vitals of our society and future.”
Mirwaiz said as per the statistics available, a large percentage of the youth are involved in drug abuse which will destroy their life and their future and that of their families. He lamented that even girls are falling prey to it.
“We need to find out the reasons that are pushing our youth to take to drugs. Continued conflict, aggression and violence does play an important role in pushing the youth to find an out let in this. Besides ignorance of parents with regard to their children, peer pressure, domestic issues also seem to be contributing factors,” he added.
Mirwaiz also urged people to take the issue seriously and to rise to the occasion so that the menace is rooted out from the valley once known as the land of Sufi's. He said that “on one hand our youth are offering priceless sacrifices for our freedom and at the same time cases of consumption of drugs worth crores are coming to fore.”
He said while great alacrity is shown by the government and police to detain youth under draconian PSA for their political beliefs, there is little interest shown by them to act against those involved in this menace even in areas known to all where it is openly happening.
“During a recent meeting with elderly from downtown, it came to fore that Gani Stadium, areas around revered Makhdoom Sahab shrine, Malkhah graveyard, and old buildings and also the areas around Eidgah have become dens where dealers supply and distribute drugs among youth,” Mirwaiz said.
Mirwaiz urged every segment of society including parents, teachers, Imams, Preachers Social activists and doctors to come forward and work for the awareness and eradication of drug addiction.
He said that he has asked elderly and youth in the area to form task forces to deal with this pressing issue. “People could form area wise groups and task forces to keep and device plans on how to deal with it and keep the youth away from it. We have to act before situation goes out of hands,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mirwaiz extended his support to the residents of Kargil demanding re-opening Kargil-Skardu road.
He said all natural routes of divided Jammu and Kashmir should be opened so that people are allowed to connect to their loved ones.
Taking to Twitter, Mirwaiz said the route should be opened so that people get access to essentials in harsh winters and are able to visit their religious places.
“Support People’s march in #Kargil demanding reopening of old Kargil-Skardu route which is just 120 kms apart! All natural routes of divided state of J&K should be opened and people allowed to connect to their loved ones, have access to essentials in harsh weather conditions and be able to visit their places of worship and do commerce,” Mirwaiz tweeted.
Meanwhile, Hurriyat Conference (M) paid tributes to the two armed youth killed in the encounter at Drabgam, Pulwama Shahid Baba, Inatullah, stating that “Kashmiri youth pushed to wall by repression and injustice by authorities take to arms and get martyred, which is deeply sad and unfortunate. But there sacrifices will bear fruit inshallah.”
After Friday prayers, on JRL call a peaceful protest was organised outside Jamia Masjid to highlight the prisoners plight and press for their release .
Those who participated in the protest march include Mushtaq Sufi, Farooq Ahmed, Muhammad Yousuf, Muhammad Sidiq, Sahil War and others.
Meanwhile, Mirwaiz expressed solidarity with the 170 Kashmiri shopkeepers whose shops were damaged in the blaze in Hyderabad and urged the Non Governmental organisations and others to step in to help the shopkeepers in this hour of grief. (KNS)