NC Reminds New Delhi of Plebiscite
Says Centre Deceived, Backstabbed Kashmiris; Asks GOI To Fulfill Nehru’s Promise
Srinagar, Jan 8: Accusing New Delhi of backstabbing the Kashmiri leadership time and again, National Conference (NC) Tuesday asked the Government of India to fulfill the promise of plebiscite in Kashmir made by then Prime Minister Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru at Lal Chowk Srinagar on November 18, 1947.
Addressing workers at party headquarters – Nawa-e-Subah – here, NC General Secretary Advocate Sheikh Nazir said Kashmiris were always “deceived and backstabbed” by New Delhi on one pretext or other.
“We still don’t know why we were ditched. Pandit Nehru made a promise to the people of Kashmir at the historic Lal Chowk in Srinagar (on November 18, 1947) that when peace prevails, people would be given a right to choose their fate,” the ailing NC leader said in his two-hour speech.
“But this promise was never fulfilled. Instead, New Delhi jailed the tallest leader of J&K, Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah in 1952. It is high time for Government of India to fulfill the promise made by Pandit Nehru,” he said.
The function was organized to start party’s membership drive for Srinagar district. Nazir said 1947 accession signed by Maharaja Hari Singh was limited to only three subjects – foreign affairs, defense and communication. “It was Hari Singh who invited Indian Army to Kashmir,” Nazir said.
Lashing out at NC workers for giving the party a fractured mandate in 2008, the veteran leader said the people were feeling annoyed as their problems are not being addressed by the government. “Why didn’t you think at the time of voting in favour of other party in 2008? You (workers) are at fault,” he said as many NC workers raised slogans, “We want our right. Address our problems.”
Nazir said it was a disgrace for NC that the party has come down from 68 seats in state Assembly in 1996 to only 28 at present. “It is high time for us to strengthen our roots and to introspect. If you (workers) want to see your problems addressed in time, give us a full mandate in next election,” said Nazir, who was flanked by Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Ali Muhammad Sagar, MoS Home Nasir Aslam Wani, MLA Habba Kadal Shameema Firdous, MLA Zadibal Peer Afaq and MLC Ali Muhammad Dar.
The NC leader said Autonomy was the basic right of Kashmiris. “We will not surrender on this. Autonomy means Khudmukhtari, which means independence. There should be no intervention of anybody in our rights and duties. We have to strive hard for our rights,” he said. Nazir said there will be no compromise on the mission of martyrs of 1931.
Nazir alleged that BJP leader L K Advani gave Rs 22 crore to PDP Patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed for contesting elections in 2002. “Mufti literally begged before Advani in New Delhi that he wanted to contest polls in J&K. PDP was raised to dismantle NC,” he said.
Similarly, Nazir said, many conspiracies were hatched against the NC leadership. “Many attempts were made to destabilize Farooq Abdullah government. And now efforts are on to malign the image of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah,” he said.
Meanwhile, NC registered nine lakh members from Kashmir in its first phase of membership drive from Kashmir.