Omar Abdullah 1

Former Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, who recently made debut in Facebook made a statement ahead of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s rally in Srinagar. Omar, besides other observations has sought three announcements from PM Modi.

Kashmir Life brings the Facebook status of tech savvy verbatim for the interest of its readers:

At this moment Prime Minister Modi will be comfortably seated in his Air Force Boeing 737 making his way towards Srinagar to address a public rally at the SK Cricket Stadium.

In the run up to this speech we have heard from Mufti Sayeed and his ministers about the “historic” nature of this visit. We’ve been told that the speech will impact Kashmiris for generations to come. We’ve also been lead to believe that the PM is coming to announce a massive financial package for the state.

As far as financial packages go these is nothing epoch making about them. We’ve had financial packages ever since the Prime Ministership of Bakhshi Ghulam Mohammad and they haven’t changed the nature of the problem in Kashmir. Kashmir has been and continues to be a political problem and needs a political resolution.

Therefore for this visit of the Prime Minister to assume historic proportions he will have to take a leaf out of former PM Vajpayee’s book and go against the grain of what is normally expected of him.

Three things I’d like to see in the PM’s speech today –

One – a firm announcement with time frame for the phased withdrawal of AFSPA.

Two – an unconditional invitation to separatists to come forward and open a dialogue with the centre aimed at involving them in finding a political solution to the internal dimension of the Kashmir Issue.

Three – a resumption of the Composite Dialogue with Pakistan to discuss all outstanding issues without giving in to the temptation to put Kashmir on the back burner, as was done in Ufa. This must include an assurance that henceforth extraneous factors like Pakistan meeting Hurriyat leaders will not be allowed to derail this process.

These three announcements or at the very least a combination of two out of these three will lift the PM’s speech to one of historic importance. Anything less will be a tragic loss of a great opportunity.

The clamp down on the people of Srinagar in the run up to today’s public meeting has certainly been historic, I hope that’s not the only history written today.



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