Chief Minister and National Conference Working President Omar Abdullah Wednesday reiterated the fact that Jammu and Kashmir had conditionally acceded to India based on basic, constitutionally validated conditions that were violated by successive erosions to Article 370 through pliant regimes in J&K after Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah was illegally deposed as a popular, democratically elected Prime Minister of J&K and consequently incarcerated for a collective period of 23 years.
Addressing an election rally in Soibugh, Budgam Assembly Segment Omar Abdullah said that National Conference will never give up its demand of reversing the erosions in Article 370 and will keep striving for the restoration of Internal Autonomy in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Those entities that are desirous of a debate on Article 370 should read history and know that the State of Jammu and Kashmir acceded to India based on basic, constitutionally validated conditions that were put in place by Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah to guard the political distinctiveness of the State and to act as a protection of the political aspirations of our people. The day they realize this fact, they will also know how proud we are of our State’s flag, its constitution and its political stature and how we will defend our political rights till our last breath. National Conference has never changed its political stand on the Kashmir Issue and will never alter our vision for political expediency. Let me make it very clear to the BJP, the Congress and the PDP – Article 370 is non-negotiable and the only debate one needs to have on Article 370 is about its restoration to its original, pristine form. I have said this on the floor of the Assembly, I have said this as the elected Chief Minister of this State and I say so today as a proud citizen of this State who will never allow any political force to rob us of our rights”, Omar Abdullah said while addressing an election rally in Budgam in support of sitting MLA and NC Candidate from Budgam, Aga Syed Ruhullah.
Omar further said said that those falling over each other to talk about protecting Article 370 are the same political leaders who played an integral role in eroding Article 370 from 1953 to 1975 while they were in the Congress party and while Sheikh Mohamamd Abdullah was in jail for defending the political aspirations of our people. “I want to ask Mufti Sahab if he is so concerned about Article 370 today, why was he a major player in successive machinations that were launched to erode Article 370? Was Mufti Sahab not a part of the Cabinets in J&K which signed orders making erosions in Article 370? Where was Mufti Sahab’s conscience when he was the face of the efforts by Congress to erode Article 370 in J&K at a time when the founder of National Conference, the democratically elected Prime Minister of J&K was illegally put in jail? I challenge Mufti Sayeed to answer these questions without hiding behind ambiguity and then and only then will PDP ever have a right to talk about Article 370”, said Omar.
Lashing out at PDP Patron, Omar said the people of Jammu and Kashmir remember that it was none other than Ex-MP Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh and Ex-Home Minister of India, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed who imposed the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in J&K after unleashing the brutality of Governor Jagmohan on our people. “Mufti Sahab, the people of Kashmir can never forget that your hands are soaked in the blood of thousands of our young men. The haunting memories of the Gaw Kadal, Handwara, Bijbehara, Hawal, Pazipora Kupwara and countless other massacres that happened under the tenure of Mufti Sayeed as the Home Minister of India are forever etched in our hearts. Mufti Sahab, the people of Kashmir know that you passed the infamous orders of shoot-at-sight countless times when the Valley rather needed empathy and reconciliation. We know that you ordered separatist leaders to be paraded semi-naked on the airport tarmac to sadistically humiliate them. We know that you turned your healing touch into killing touch and went for the targeted killing of those commanders of Hizbul Mujahideen who had declared a unilateral ceasefire during Dr. Farooq Abdullah’s tenure as Chief Minister of J&K. Mufti Sahab we know your reality, the people of Kashmir know your reality and most importantly you yourself know your reality”, Omar Abdullah said.
The election rallies were also addressed by Senior NC leader, sitting MLA and contesting candidate from Budgam, Aga Syed Ruhullah. Aga Ruhullah said that the people of Budgam would yet again reiterate their faith in National Conference and would play a frontal role in support Omar Abdullah’s dream of political dignity for Jammu and Kashmir.