Rajouri, Former Chief Minister and National Conference Working President Omar Abdullah on Thursday recalled Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s outreach to the people of Jammu and Kashmir on Independence Day, saying a hope has been rekindled and time had come to translate his resolve into action by making a real difference on ground in the State.
Winding up his five day visit to the border districts of Poonch and Rajouri, Omar Abdullah said while addressing a party rally in Rajouri and referred to the Prime Minister’s statement that the persistent issue can be resolved by embracing everybody in the state and said: “Let the Centre come forward, embrace the people and help Jammu and Kashmir steer out of its difficulties”.
“Prime Minister is like a father figure; he belongs to entire nation and entire nation belongs to him. He has to own all and his words from ramparts of Red Fort were soothing. Now time has come when Goli and Gaali are discarded and all embrace each other to create an atmosphere of peace and progress. And, in doing so the Prime Minister should play the leading role, whether it is to address the internal or the external dimensions of Jammu and Kashmir”, Omar Abdullah said.
Omar Abdullah said that Jammu and Kashmir became part of India as per the conditions enshrined in the Instrument of Accession and later in the Constitution of India. “We are part of India and shall continue to be so. We only ask for maintaining and preserving constitutional guarantees granted to our state”, he said.
“We are the only state having our own Constitution and own flag”, the former Chief Minister said, hoping this uniqueness will be understood and respected. He referred to the ongoing row over Article 35A and said fighting for its retention in the Constitution cannot be termed as anti-national act. He said Article 35A is custodian of the interests of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions. “It is religious neutral, regional neutral and caste neutral”, he said and declared that National Conference will continue to fight for its safeguard. In this context, he referred to the state-wide mobilization being done by his party over special proviso of the Constitution of India. He cautioned against projecting the fight for Article 35A as Hindu versus Muslim or Kashmir versus rest of the country issue.
Tracing the genesis of more and more youth getting pushed to militancy in South Kashmir, Omar Abdullah said that the people feel betrayed by the PDP which fought 2014 elections mainly on anti-BJP and RSS plank but ultimately embraced them to be in the cradle of government. He said the people of the Valley in general and south Kashmir in particular are feeling politically let down.
The Working President said that the people of Jammu and Kashmir were feeling threatened by politics of hate and communal divide being thrust upon them. “The people of all the three regions and faiths are genuinely concerned at the attempts being made to generate regional divide and engineer communal polarization for ulterior political motives”, he said, adding that this gap is needed to be bridged by strengthening mutual understanding and cementing the bonds of amity and brotherhood.
“In this effort, National Conference cadre has to play their crucial role, which they have performed during most testing times of history”, he asserted.
Provincial President Devender Singh Rana also addressed the workers.
Prominent among those present on the occasion included Th Rachpal Singh, Syed Mushtaq Ahmed Shah Bukhari, Mirza Abdul Rashid, Aslam Khan, Mr Ajaz Jan, Bashir Ahmed Wani, Shafayat Khan, Shafqat Mir, Matti Mir, Syed Jat, Wahid Kasana, Nirmal Singh, Abdul Qadir, Zaki and others. (KNS)