Jammu and Kashmir National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah Thursday asserted that the forthcoming elections are significant as it will decide the future course of action viz-a viz Art 370 and Art 35 A saying that besides ensuring its protection within and outside the courts, National Conference will not allow NIA to intimidate innocent Kashmiris.
Addressing a massive party campaign rally at Lolab, Kupwara, Omar Abdullah said that forthcoming elections will be significant because it will decide the recourse of our state vis-a-vis development, youth employment and other issues that our state is facing. “The very special character of our state is facing overt as well as covert threats. These elections provide us with a good opportunity to send resourceful and capable people to country’s highest house as can forcefully work for preserving the state’s special status.”
While making a passionate appeal to people he said, “But for god’s sake don’t allow such forces to make inroads into the state as are inimical to the special status of our state.”
“Such forces and their cronies should not be allowed to fiddle with our identity. And now it is up to the people, to show them their right place,” he said.
Referring to the intimidation of the youth of Kashmir, Omar said, “Today thousands of youth are fighting cases that have been slashed on them since 2016. Mehbooba Mufti is shedding crocodile tears over them, thousands of our youth are languishing in jails. It was she who brought NIA to Kashmir, who unleashed torments on people,” adding, “In my tenure, NIA was only used once, that too to save the life of Liyaqat, a local. Under the then announced rehabilitation policy, he was on his way to return home via Nepal with his family from Pakistan.
However, he was arrested on the Indo-Nepal border. Authorities were mulling to send him to Tihar jail. His family members called upon me.”
“I discussed the case with the then Home Minister. I requested him to employ an organization that was not politically used against people. Eventually, in a matter of two months, Liyaqat was released and reunited with his family. Once in power, we will review the cases on youth; we will stop waiving off cases on innocent youth. We will ensure that undue intimidation of our youth is not done by NIA. We will also put an end to PSA,” he said. It is pertinent to mention that Liyaqat, was part of the crowd listening to the address of Omar Abdullah.
Party president while referring to the ensuing LS elections said, “These days you must be seeing political outfits of various hues and colors coming to you, these people persuade you by saying that they will protect the special status of our state. However, their affirmations don’t stand any ground because when in power these people never raised any voice for the protection of the special provision guarding the status of our state. Although they raised their voice that wasn’t for the state and its interests, they raised their voices forgetting plush portfolios and berths,” adding, “Same is the case with PDP; the PDP president has on record said that she essentially hobnobbed with BJP just to save her party from disintegration. How can these people be entrusted with putting up a strong front? Can these people be responsible with the charge of protecting our identity, given the fact that they on no account put up the case of our state strongly before their coalition partner BJP?”
“They hunkered down for the sake of power and chair, not to talk of preserving what was left of our autonomy; PDP implemented the NFSA, GST, SARFAESI. The BJP-PDP combine severely put to distress the ordinary populace of the state. People are hankering for ration and other edibles. The food security bill has hit thousands of families across the state.
During my stint as Chief Minister, I didn’t allow implementation of national food security act and GST. But PDP took no time to implement it; can they be trusted again now?
Omar said that his government was able to keep the youth of the state distant from the gun. “Today we see scholars, employed youth picking up guns. This is this situation that propped up ever since late Mufti Sb hobnobbed with BJP. The irony is that they have not a speck of remorse for what they unleashed on people. Contrary to it PDP president mocked the misery of people by her ‘milk and toffee’ remarks. She was one who barefacedly said that the guns of the forces are not for mere display but action,” adding, “We have already paid heavily for her mistakes. She canvassed all along during the 2014 elections to keep BJP out, but what followed is history, the ramifications of which we still encounter. The countless miseries will take years to heal.”
“Now she is again up to the same gimmickry, she masters; this time we should not fall prey to her theatrics, we have already paid heavily for her gimmickry and tomfoolery. I caution you if this time we fall prey to her political tears we have to pay the price for it with our blood,” he said.
While referring to the developmental works undertaken by the NC led government during its stint in power, he said, “We invested in the tourist infrastructure of Lolab. The development authority of Lolab was instituted in our tenure. When in government we augmented the infrastructure of Lolab, it was in our tenure that many vital protects came up in Lolab. But the PDP government wasn’t able to carry forward the momentum of our development agenda.”
While talking to media he rebuffed the allegations of speaking on lines with Hurriyat. “On the contrary, it’s BJP which is saying one thing in Delhi and second in Srinagar. In Delhi they impede elections to Assembly when in Srinagar Ram Madhav pitches for elections. If they aren’t able to conduct elections, then they should make it public that they have destroyed the situation to an extent that Assembly elections cannot be conducted.”
Among others party candidate Mohammad Akbar Lone, provincial spokesperson Nasir Aslam Wani, senior leaders Sharief Ud Din Shariq, Choudhary Muhammad Ramzan, Qaisar Jamsheed Lone, Salam Ud Din Bajad also addressed the gathering.