Abrogation of Article 370 inconsequential: Separatists
‘Special status within Indian Constitution no solution to Kashmir NC, PDP implementing Delhi’s agenda’
Separatist leaders have termed the proposal by the Government of India to abrogate Article 370 as inconsequential for Kashmiris, saying it has no relevance with the ongoing movement for right to self-determination.
Chairman of Hurriyat Conference (G), Syed Ali Shah Geelani, said “Even if Article 370 is abrogated, it is meaningless for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”
“Our agenda is attaining right to self-determination guaranteed by the United Nations. Article 370 is not part of our sacred cause,” Geelani said.
Geelani hit out at mainstream parties in the state for expressing resentment over BJP’s proposal to abrogate Article 370.
“It is ironic that mainstream parties particularly Congress, National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party are shedding crocodile tears over proposed abrogation of Article 370 while the fact is that these parties are responsible for miseries of Kashmiris and suppressing the ongoing freedom movement,” he said.
The Hurriyat (G) Chairman said, “New Delhi diluted the Article 370 long ago by settling non-state subjects and deploying over eight lakh armed forces in Kashmir,” he said.
“If New Delhi is serious, its leadership must implement the UN resolution on Kashmir to settle the issue according to aspirations of people of Jammu and Kashmir,” Geelani added.
Chairman of Hurriyat Conference (M), Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, said, “Article 370 exists on paper only. Since 1953 the successive regimes diluted the Article. We have to understand that Kashmir is not a centre-state problem. Article 370 is not a solution to Kashmir. Whether the Article is there or not it does not have any relevance with Kashmir dispute,” Mirwaiz said.
Mirwaiz said Kashmir dispute involves India, Pakistan and people of Jammu and Kashmir. “The dispute can only be resolved when all the three parties sit together and discuss the modalities in historical and political context. Things outside this ambit hardly matter,” he added.
Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), Muhammad Yasin Malik, said, “Though we have nothing to do with Article 370 as we want independent Kashmir, but as a matter of argument NC, PDP and Congress are doing politics in the name of the Article because Government of India and its Parliament have no right to amend or abolish it. This right only vests with the state Assembly.”
Elaborating, Malik said the state Assembly led by the Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, on October 15, 1951, ‘extended the power of President of India to Jammu and Kashmir and made its people Indian citizens.’
“Then the GM Sadiq government, in which Mufti Muhammad Sayed was a minister, brought the state at par with other states by abolishing the post of Sadr-e-Riyasat and Prime Minister. Bakshi Ghulam Muhammad abolished permit system, GM Shah brought TADA, Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah introduced Public Safety Act, Mufti Sayeed as Home Minister introduced AFSPA and Disturbed Area Act,” he said.
“Ironically, these very parties are now opposing the proposed abrogation of Article 370 which has remained just a paper tiger. These parties have always been instrumental in implementing New Delhi’s agenda against Kashmiris in the state,” he said.
Malik also hit out at Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) saying it is non-serious to resolve the Kashmir issue.
“BJP’s statement on Article 370 should serve as a message for whole pro-freedom camp that we should not have any kind of hope on Modi government to resolve Kashmir issue in accordance with Kashmiris’ aspirations. BJP is pursuing RSS agenda in letter and spirit,” he said.
“It is high time to strengthen our resistance movement as people’s revolution will force Indian state to negotiate on Kashmir,” Malik added.
Senior leader of Hurriyat Conference Jammu and Kashmir and Chairman of National Front, Nayeem Khan, termed the move to abrogate Article 370 as a non-issue for Kashmiris. “Kashmiris have been offering sacrifices for right to self-determination, not Article 370. This Article is not in the domain of ongoing freedom movement,’” Khan said.
Chairperson of Dukhtaran-e-Millat, Asiya Andrabi, said, “We are not fighting for Article 370 but freedom of Kashmir and will continue to pursue our cause.”