National Conference on Wednesday vowed to foil the machinations of the divisive forces in breaking the unity of the people, saying the party won’t allow division of Jammu and Kashmir on regional and religious lines.
“We are the inheritors of great legacy of Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah who strived all his life to preserve the distinct and unique identity of the state and its existence as a single entity” General Secretary Haji Ali Mohammed Sagar said while addressing workers convention here, adding that the proponents of trifurcation are destined to fail before the strong resolve of the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.
Sagar lashed out at “reactionary and communal forces” for pushing their sinister agenda by vitiating the atmosphere and creating a wedge between various segments of society. He hoped the people will give these forces a befitting lesson by maintaining their time tested unity, harmony and tranquillity.
“Whenever forces inimical to the unity of the state find themselves in the political whirlpool, they resort to inciting passions by raking up contentious issues”, he said and referred to the attempts being perpetrated to weaken the state’s special status. Being custodian of peoples’ interests, he said, National Conference will foil these designs tooth and nail.
Speaking on the occasion, Additional General Secretary Dr Sheikh Mustafa Kamaal exhorted people to guard against the polarizing elements and expressed concern over the orchestrated campaign launched by the reactionary forces to create political instability in the state.
Dr Kamaal described the prevailing situation as detrimental to democratic growth of the state, saying people’s will for the restoration of democracy cannot be throttled as per whims of New Delhi. He said Governor’s rule is no substitute to a popularly elected government, as people are deprived accessibility to those governing them. He sought immediate restoration of the democratic process so that the people become masters of their own destiny.
Provincial President Devender Singh Rana, while addressing the convention emphasized the need for strengthening regional unity by providing equal opportunism of progress to all. He said National Conference is committed to assuaging the regional and sub-regional aspirations and referred to the assurances held out by the leadership with regard to the consideration of regional autonomy if voted to power with an absolute majority.
Rana reiterated that empowered elected regional councils under the umbrella of the state are a way forward to satiate distinct aspirations of the people, saying this will not only isolate elements inimical to single entity of Jammu and Kashmir but help to build and further strengthening the trust between regions. He said a roadmap in this regard has been drawn in the regional autonomy document formulated by the party over two decades ago.
In his address to the workers, senior leader and former minister Khalid Najeeb Suharwardhy said that Jammu and Kashmir are passing through a most difficult phase, which has adversely impacted the people on all fronts. He said administrative and developmental inertia has taken toll of various utility services, particularly in semi-urban and rural areas, as a result of which the people are finding themselves in the lurch.
Suharwardhy said that National Conference alone can meet the challenges faced to the state on political, administrative and developmental fronts. He urged the workers to play their important role in steering the state to political stability, which is imperative for the restoration of peace and normalcy.
Provincial Youth National Conference President Ajaz Jan also addressed the gathering. Referring to the presence of a large number of youth, Jan said the enthusiasm of youth and experience of elders will make National Conference a force to reckon with.
Prominent among those who addressed and were present in the convention included former MLC Radiq Shah, Zaffarullah Rathore, Abdul Manan Banday, Azad Hussain Reshi, Thakur Bachater Singh, Syed Naveed Hashmi, Abid Magray, Mubarak Ali, Ayaz Ahmed Sheikh, Mushtaq Ahmed, Ch Salam-ud-Din and others.