‘Kashmir Can’t Be Part Of India By Harping On Atoot Ang; Centre Should Shun Its Prejudices Towards JK’
Lashing out at Congress-led central government for “double standards” adopted by it towards Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Monday took the Centre head-on over the issues like Afzal Guru hanging, revocation of AFSPA and the recent ‘controversial’ arrest of a former militant Syed Liyaqat Shah.
Omar also made it clear that Jammu and Kashmir is not an Atoot Ang (integral part) of India as is being harped by various quarters in Delhi as the state’s accession was only on three subjects of communication-currency, defence and foreign affairs.
Winding up the discussion in the Legislative Assembly on the grants of the departments under his charge, Chief Minister said that the Kashmir issue is a reality and “no one can deny it.”
“Those who repeatedly talk about the Kashmir being integral part of Union of India are responding to whom? Has any member of the House questioned it?” he asked and said for the resolution of political issues of Jammu and Kashmir various viewpoints and formulas have been given by different political parties which includes Autonomy resolution projected and piloted by National Conference, Self-Rule proposal of PDP and Indira-Sheikh Accord of Congress.
Omar said by harping on the Atoot Ang cliché, New Delhi can’t change the status of the political issue of J&K, it has to win the hearts and minds of the state’s people. “By repeating the word of Atoot Ang (integral part) time and again, you cannot change the status of political issue of Jammu and Kashmir. To change the scenario you have to win over the hearts of people of Jammu and Kashmir. I have always said that Kashmir will be true part of India when you win over the hearts of the people and care for their hopes and aspirations. If you will reject them there will be alienation. Every Kashmiri is not Pakistani. When they get rejected they resort to raising such slogans which they do not believe by heart and they do it to give vent to their anger. If you think that Afzal hanging had no effect on Kashmir civil society, you are wrong. They are not so naive. They ask reply from me for the different treatment meted out to Veerrapan gang members, killers of Punjab Chief Minister and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi vis-a-vis Afzal Guru. I have no reply for them but some day we all have to give them reply”, he said and mentioned the necessity of imposing curfew in the Valley to safeguard the lives of the people.
Lamenting the “biased” attitude of the central government towards J&K, Omar said he is faced with a volley of questions on the issue as to why only Afzal Guru was hanged “out of turn” while others on the same list were being dealt differently.
“When I talk about revoking AFSPA, you don’t want to take the risk, but you hang Afzal (Guru). Why don’t you have the courage to revoke AFSPA. After hanging of Afzal Guru, you cannot bring him back, but after removal of AFSPA, you can re-impose it”, Omar said.
“When we talk about AFSPA, we were told you are pushing the state to danger – I do not understand when we are ready for experiment in J&K – why there is always pick and choose – when this government shouted and screamed that by hanging Afzal Guru the situation in J&K state will deteriorate you ignored that – that was your right”.
He said AFSPA is not imposed in Naxal violence hit areas. “There are no helicopters shot down in Kashmir, but you have a different yardstick for J&K.”
Omar said the Fidayeen attack at Bemina is a glaring example for those who oppose AFSPA revocation because this attack took place even in presence of AFSPA and CRPF and Jammu and Kashmir Police who deal with law and order and militancy simultaneously, combated the attack successfully and killed the militants.
Chief Minister said his demand on AFSPA was not “emotional” but it was based on “logic” while citing recommendations made by one of the five Working Groups constituted by the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh during UPA-I and the recommendations of Justice Sagheer Committee which had backed the call for gradual revocation of the controversial law.
Omar said it was an “absolute lie” that police and CRPF was not given arms and ammunition. “They are operating under a mutually agreed upon SOP and always remain equipped with the necessary required ammunition when on law and order duty”, he said.
Omar said he has always tried to reach out to separatists politically. “But they want situation in Kashmir should deteriorate. They encourage stone pelting, issue calendars, and want tourism and studies of children should get affected. They are marring the economic avenues of common people and are bent upon disturbing peace,” Omar said and added that he has always been dealing with them politically and will continue to do so. “But it is they who do not want to deal with the government on political grounds but resort to stone pelting and violence”, he said mentioning a statement of top separatist leader, who, he said, justified stone pelting when an innocent auto driver of South Kashmir lost his life on the hands of stone pelters. “Show me one instance when police used force against peaceful protestors. They only deal strictly with stone-pelters and those who resort to violence”, he added.
ON PDP BOYCOTT
Omar repeated his government’s appeal to the PDP to return to the House and join the proceedings. However, he counter attacked the PDP patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed who had accused government of suppressing people’s voice.
“It is they who are suppressing people’s voice by choosing to stay away from the House,” Omar said.
He said if the PDP legislators think that they were public representatives, they should return to the House and raise people’s issues.
Omar said instead of issuing press notes, making their viewpoints public through print and electronic media they (PDP) could have utilized their right to represent people and put forth their points across through debates in the legislature.
Chief Minister also gave resume of the efforts government has taken for enhancing power generation in the State besides improving transmission and distribution system. He also mentioned the losses being regularly incurred on the supply of electricity to the consumers.
Chief Minister also spoke of the steps taken by the government for good-governance and mentioned anti-corruption measures to bring in more transparency in government functioning and restrict malpractices. He talked about the Results Framework Document and said that at the end of the year the performance of every department would be tabled in the legislature for the public representatives to judge the performance of the government for the year.