National Conference (NC) president Dr Farooq Abdullah Friday said that protecting the unity, the integrity of state was the primary goal of the party besides materialising the idea of a welfare state as enshrined in Naya Kashmir document.
Party president while addressing scores of delegations, individuals who had thronged the residence of party vice president Omar Abdullah as per a party statement said, “The primary goal of the party is to protect the territorial integrity, identity, special status and the pluralistic visage of the state.”
“The party has always rendered immense sacrifices for the protection of the interests of our state. However, the situation we are facing today is far more perilous. Forces as have traditional been dead set against the special constitutional position of the state are contriving their level best to obliterate Article 370, Article 35-A; however our party will not allow any such gambit to materialize,” added the statement.
It further read, “The party will continue to tread the path that was taken to by it in 1931. Our agenda is pretty clear and unambiguous; it is to work towards the socio, political and economic emancipation of the people of the state. Our vision of development is not impaired by the bug of fanaticism, bigotry and regionalism. We have traditionally worked for every section of the society. We will continue to work with the same passion.”
Instilling confidence into the party workers, party president has said that Article 370, Article 35-A, were the articles of faith for the party. “The Articles are as necessary and pivotal for Jammu and Ladakh regions as they are for Kashmir. These Articles besides sanctifying the constitutional bond between the state and the centre protect the rich culture of all the regions of the state. Above and beyond that the Articles protect the exclusive rights of the people living in all the regions of the state in jobs, scholarships. If the Articles are done away with, the youth of the state notwithstanding which region of the state they belong to will be snatched of their exclusive rights over the jobs, scholarships in the state.”
The statement further read that the local youth of the state will find it very difficult to get admissions in the colleges and universities of the state. “However, if we continue to forge unity amongst ourselves no one would dare to touch it. The need of the hour calls for joining our efforts for the protection of the special status of the state. The way people have reposed their faith in the party during the parliament elections shows that the people of the state deem it able to shoulder the mission of protecting the interests of the state. I am sure with the active support of people the party will put up a strong front against those forces are hell bent to destroy the identity of the state.”
Party president has also maintained that the state of J&K belongs to its people. “The people of the state are the lawful owners of this land. For the past five years, we didn’t see the central government do anything towards bringing rapprochement and reconciliation in the state. The people friendly programmes and measures initiated by the Omar Abdullah led government were out rightly put into a chasm by the former BJP-PDP government and the BJP led central government.
However, I am hopeful that the new dispensation at the centre will heal the wounds of the people of the state, in particular, the people of the valley. Meantime I am hopeful that the central government will start a meaningful dialogue with the neighbouring country.
Such a measure will bring respite to the people living along the LOC and international border. The resumption of talks between India and Pakistan will help the people of our state to live a better life free of insecurity and tension. I am hopeful that the new dispensation at the centre will use its massive mandate to usher in an era of peace in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
We in our party will continue to impress upon the central government to engage with the neighbouring country. Internally too, the centre should initiate talks with all the stakeholders.” Referring to the restoration of autonomy he said, “We firmly believe that restoration of the autonomy will satiate the development and other need of all the regions of the state.
In this direction, our party had already got the recommendations of the state autonomy committee passed by the legislative assembly with 2/3rd majority. We believe restoring autonomy to the state will clean the cobwebs of mistrust between the centre and the state besides providing for the local needs of the people across the state.”
Underscoring the need of delegating more administrative powers to all the sub-regions of the state he said that once in power the party will give autonomies to the far-flung areas of the state. “De-centralization and strengthening of local civic bodies form the core of our agenda, once in power we will ensure speedy and effective decentralization of the administrative powers in the state.”