The Bold Voice of J&K

Lack of consistency erodes credibility of Kashmiri politicians

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Indian politicians are seldom serious about problems confronted to the people. Instead, they always hunt for some issues, big or small, to bake their political bread and derive mileage out of these. They have mastered in befooling innocent masses. Their utterings always convey dual meanings. They don’t bother about the damage being caused to general public and country as a whole due to their inconsistent statements. Not only this, by issuing self contradictory statements, which never match their earlier stances, they lose their credibility as people are now fully aware of their political game plans and vote bank politics.
National Conference President Dr. Farooq Abdullah has recently evoked a huge controversy by extending olive branch to Hurriyat Conference. Everyone is astonished, over a person of his stature forgetting the sacrifices of his father Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah, founder of NC who remained in jails for 22 years, to seek economic, social and political justice for people of the State. Moreover, he converted Muslim Conference into National Conference in 1939 and welcomed people, irrespective of caste, creed and colour. He achieved a distinction of being a real secular leader by raising the slogan, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Ithad.
As per media reports, Dr. Abdullah has asked separatist Hurriyat to remain united and has even extended his co-operation to their cause till their steps are on the right track without elaborating on the right track. He also talked about nation without clarifying what actually he meant.
Doesn’t Farooq Abdullah consider himself an Indian national? The State of J and K has legally acceded to India and become part of it. Political issues like autonomy, more powers and concessions can be raised in view of the special status granted under the provisions of the Indian Constitution. It is, of course, intriguing that the Centre keeps changing their policies towards the State by imposing governments of their own choice. Similarly, the leaders of Jammu and Kashmir, especially those from the Valley, keep changing their colours like the weather of Kashmir as per their convenience. When in power they pretend to be ultra nationalists and once out of it, they totally change their course.
In Kashmir, Pakistan has been playing a sinister game to secede the State from India. The cult of terror, unleashed by ISI, is a low cost mechanism to achieve this dirty objective, which is being supplemented actively by anti-national elements as also the Hurriyat. So far as political solution of Kashmir is concerned, it was resolved from the time, as lately as in 1975 when Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah took over the reins of J and K under Indira-Sheikh Accord, I remember Dr. Farooq Abdullah after becoming Chief Minister visited Mumbai in February in 1983 and during his address to the industrialists at Chamber House, Church Gate, he said, “We are born Indians and will die as Indians. You have doubted my father also. If anything will happen tomorrow you will be held responsible for that.” And the next day, Indian Express Mumbai, carried a report under the caption Kashmir will go to Pakistan, Dr. Farooq which he actually never said or meant. After publication of this report, black flags were shown to him by Shiv Sena when he was inaugurating a branch of JK Bank at Kalba Devi near crawford Market, Mumbai. On the same day, during the lunch at Hotel Taj with the Resident Editors of Mumbai Papers, the Editor of the Indian Express apologized for the wrong reporting.
Media has to play constructive role in nation building and should not believe in distorting the facts. Differences do exist between the party in power and opponents, but the political leaders should keep in view the national interest while criticising each other publically. On two issues, I had the occasion to talk to Dr Farooq Abdullah on phone. Once, when he said, LoC should be considered as International Border. When I enquired about the change of his earlier stand whereby he was claiming PoK as part of J and K and asked the Centre to liberate it from the clutches of Pakistan; and what message the people of PoK will get after this statement? He told me, “India and Pakistan could not solve this issue for the past 70 years and we the people of the State have been suffering as a consequence. Hundreds of people have been killed. So far as the people from other side were concerned, once the borders are opened, people from both the sides will meet and socialise, things would be automatically better. I don’t think there is anything wrong in this formula whether agreed by the Atal Behari Vajpayee and Gen. Parvez Musharraf or not”.
On many occasions, Dr Farooq Abdullah had asked the Centre to attack terrorist camps in PoK and destroy them, as these were the real cause of unrest and instability in the Valley. “If by peaceful methods, we are unable to solve our problems what is wrong in adopting other means as it is not only the people of the State but also the entire country, who were suffering”, he told me.
On his recent statement of 5th December, Birthday of Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah, published in Times of India dated 6th December, with Srinagar date-time under the caption ‘Farooq Abdullah extended support to Hurriyat’ in their fight for freedom, Dr. Farooq Abdullah reacted strongly and denied what had been attributed to him.
I also sought clarification from Dr. Mustaffa Kamal about the statement of Dr. Farooq Abdullah, who also denied and advised me to read the papers published from Kashmir.
I have a reason to differ with Farooq Abdullah, if at all he has extended support to Hurriyat for freedom. Entire world knows that Hurriyat is an organisation of separatists supported by Pakistan to create unrest and instability in Jammu and Kashmir. They have created scare among the people of the State, as a result Valleyites obey their dictates and Hartals and strikes without uttering a word. It is different that demonetisation has exposed them, as their channels of funding have dried up, which brought some sort of respite in the Kashmir situation. People have understood their game plan. Now the shops, offices and schools have started functioning. In this backdrop, some people analyse the statement of Farooq Abdullah as a gimmick to win the parliamentary seats from Anantanag and Srinagar. We know, National Conference is a historical movement and how much its founder was being revered by the people of Kashmir, who fondly called him Bab, Baba-e-Quom and Sher-e-Kashmir. Dr. Farooq Abdullah and NC cadre should follow his footsteps rather than playing to the galleries and should ask Hurriyat leaders to join hands with NC for restoring peace and prosperity in the valley and state as a whole.
Many fundamentalists’ organisations and the State and national leaders have condemned the recent statement of Dr Farooq Abdullah whereby he openly asked his cadre to support Hurriyat which is an upper ground supporter of terrorist organisations and the root cause of unrest in the State. NC leaders from Jammu region are feeling embarrassed over this statement and are unable to face the people on the utterings of their leader who held the office of CM for three terms and was also a Minister in the Union Cabinet. His son, Omar Abdullah too has been a Chief Minister and a junior Minister in the NDA Government led by Vajpayee. Therefore, the statement of Dr Abdullah, particularly on the birth anniversary of his father is really disturbing for his admirers.
(To be continued)

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