J&K only acceded not merged with India: Omar

KL Report


Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Wednesday referred to the special status of the State recognized by Constitution of India and said that the accession of the Jammu and Kashmir to the Union of India was on four matters of currency, communication, foreign affairs and defence.

“While all the States acceded to Union of India and then merged with it, the Jammu and Kashmir only acceded and not merged. That is why we have special status, our own constitution and the State Flag”, he said adding that the political issues of Kashmir are not born with the militancy in 1990 but their genesis is long back associated with the partition of the Country when the future of all States was decided other than Jammu and Kashmir.

According to a government statement talking to the European Delegation led by Ambassador and Head of the Delegation of the European Union to India, Joao Cravinho who called on him here, Omar Abdullah underlined the need of sustained internal and external dialogue between the Centre and the separatists and the two neighbouring countries of India and Pakistan to resolve the K-issue once for all.

The Chief Minister said that there are diverse views regarding the Kashmir issue. “While one extremist view is for cession, the other extremist opinion is total merger of the State with the Union of India. Unless the process of dialogue is started with a view to find out flexibility in both of the views and carve out a roadmap of addressing the issues, the position will not change”, he said and referred to constitution of various teams of Interlocutors and Track-II Diplomacy to ascertain the public perception in general and the opinion of various shades of political beliefs to resolve the complex K-issue.

According to the statement the Chief Minister expressed dismay that these initiatives were not taken to the logical conclusion adding that the latest Interlocutors Team formulated a comprehensive report after meeting some 6,000 opinion groups in all parts of the State. He said no headway in this and in other reports formulated by others including Justice Sageer Working Group on State-Centre Relations, makes the people apprehensive and subscribe to the idea that Union Government engages people of the State when there is trouble in the State and sleeps over the situation when it is more or less conducive.

The government statement said that Omar Abdullah said that while the Union Government has implemented various recommendations of Working Groups on economic development, employment generation and welfare measures, it has sent back the Justice Sageer’s Report to the State for recommendations. “I have constituted a Cabinet Sub-Committee in this regard and my Government is a coalition government of National Conference and Congress parties. The two parties have different opinions on State-Centre Relations so the matter is time consuming and complex to be resolved in a twinkling of eye”, he said adding that the Government of Jammu and Kashmir has only a limited role of a facilitator to resolve the long pending Kashmir issue. He said his Government is vehemently convincing the Union Government to be in dialogue with separatists and also engage Pakistan in an external dialogue so that the long pending political issues of Jammu and Kashmir are settled once for all.

The Chief Minister said that the Constitution of India provides framework for the dialogue with the separatists adding that their role in resolution of the issue is important as they are on different page rather than the mainstream parties whose views are candidly clear on the subject. He said the reluctance by the separatists to get engaged in dialogue is a stumbling block in finding the roadmap to the problem.

Omar Abdullah said that he does not see any immediate headwork in the Indo-Pak or Centre-Separate dialogues for the fact that Parliament Elections are in the offing. However, he underscored the need for a positive and flexible approach by India, Pakistan and separatists to come on the same page to get the political issues of Jammu and Kashmir resolved politically.

In reply to a question about economy and development affecting the political situation, the Chief Minister said that he has time and again made it clear that while economic development and peace can create conducive atmosphere for dialogue process, these cannot solve the basic political issues confronting Jammu and Kashmir. “You can neither buy a solution to a political problem nor shoot it out. You have to address it politically and only politically”, he said and thanked the Union Government for extra-ordinary economic support given to the State for growth, progress and prosperity.

“Without the liberal economic support of the Government of India, the Sate cannot sustain”, he said and added that the financial situation of Jammu and Kashmir can be viewed by the fact that the State has total income of Rs. 6500 crore by all means and it has to pay annual salary of Rs. 13500 crore to its employees while the pensioners get another Rs. 1500 crore and annual electricity losses amount to Rs. 2000 crores.

The Chief Minister said that to overcome the financial difficulty his Government has launched ambitious power projects to generate 9000 MWs of power in near future to give economic independence to Jammu and Kashmir and initiate model programmes for healthcare, education, social welfare and job creation.

In reply to another question relating the reduction of Armed forces with the improvement of situation, the Chief Minister said that the presence of Armed forces is directly related to the graph of violence. “When the degree of violence and militancy reduces there should be normal reduction in the footprints of Army. However, this has not been the case here so far”, he said maintaining that reduction in paramilitary forces has taken place but not of Army due to various reasons put forth by Army top brass. “Same is the case with revocation of AFSPA from some areas in a phased manner advocated by me repeatedly. While I am confident that there is need to its partial revocation, the Army forces have a different view on the subject”, he said adding that he holds his view firmly and will continue to bat for revocation of AFSPA from the State gradually.

The Chief Minister while replying a question on development and achievements of the Government during the last four and a half years, said that people are the best judge to scan the performance of his Government. “If I say that everything needed has been done in total, it will be exaggeration but if opposition says nothing has been done that is sheer incorrect and biased analysis”, he said and mentioned various achievements his Government has achieved in the sectors of road communication, health, education, public health engineering, power, agriculture, horticulture, animal rearing, entrepreneurship development, skill development, employment generation and other sectors.

The Chief Minister also replied various questions on development, politics, peace initiatives, security, human rights asked by various Ambassadors which included Ambassador of Greece, I. E. Raptakis, Ambassador of Lithuania, L. Talat-Kelpsa, Ambassador of Austria, B. Wrabetz, Ambassador of Poland, P. Klodkowski, Ambassador of Ireland, F McLaughlin and others.

The European Union expressed gratitude to the Chief Minister for his candid and thought provoking interaction with the delegation and apprised him of their discussions with various groups and public representatives of different shades during their stay in Kashmir.


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