For the past some time the National Conference is attempting to put on a soft separatist image by issuing statements delinking Pakistan from the unrest and putting the blame on New Delhi
Deepak Zazia, from Jammu
BJP’s national general secretary, Ram Madhav was right when he took former Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah to task for offering support to the Hurriyat Conference because National Conference stalwart is infamous for changing stand on important issues on every passing day. Dr Farooq Abdullah’s statement, that his party was ready to follow the separatists till they (Hurriyat) are on the right path and are leading the nation in the right direction, has raised many eye-brows. It is widely believed that after losing power, the National Conference has started toeing separatist lines to rake up sentiments of the people to retrieve its lost ground in the State in general and Valley in particular.
Ram Madhav, who was in Jammu on December 6 and 7, had termed Dr Abdullah’s statement as “unfortunate and irresponsible”. Don’t know what has gone wrong with the National Conference,” he said, adding that Farooq earlier used to criticise the Hurriyat and now he wants to follow their path.
Taking a dig at the recent statement of former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah for absolving Pakistan of its role in the current turmoil, the BJP stalwart said, “It is really surprising that Omar is advocating Pakistan and Farooq is toeing Hurriyat line.”
National Conference president Dr Farooq Abdullah on December 5 offered a partnership to the separatist leadership, asking them not to consider his party as an enemy and vowing to struggle for rights of the people.
Farooq said his party was ready to follow the separatists “till they are on the right path and are leading the nation in the right direction”. Echoing separatist rhetoric, Farooq said the “path to Azadi is never easy”.
“We don’t have to stay silent, we don’t have to flee. We have to safeguard this land for our children and their children. This will happen when we all will unite,” Abdullah stated while addressing his party workers at a commemoration event marking the 111th birth anniversary of his father and National Conference founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah.
In a significant speech, Farooq, who was once a harsh critic of separatists, offered unity to the separatist leaders, suggesting a major policy U-turn of his party which has remained in power for most of the time in the past three decades. He was accompanied by his son and state’s former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.
“I also want to tell the leaders of Hurriyat not to do it alone and unite. We are with you at this moment. We are not your enemy, but we are not ready to walk on the wrong path,” he said. “We have also struggled, we have spent all our lives doing so… I tell you from this sacred place that to move ahead, we are with you till you are right and you can lead this nation right,” the former Chief Minister said.
For the past some time the National Conference is attempting to put on a soft separatist image by issuing statements delinking Pakistan from the unrest and putting the blame on New Delhi.
Just a few days back, Dr Farooq had stoked another controversy by saying that Kashmir across the LOC is not any body’s father’s (baap’s) property and it cannot be conquered. He had been a powerful votary of converting LOC in to International Border.
On the one hand Farooq Abdullah has offered support to separatists, his son Omar Abdullah has given clean chit to Pakistan in the ongoing turmoil in the Valley.
Omar Abdullah on December 3 reiterated that the political issue in Kashmir was neither an invention nor a creation of Pakistan and said that distorting the current unrest in the Valley as a simple manifestation of terrorism or external interference would be a grave mistake. He said the alienation in the Valley had been compounded by the opportunistic PDP-BJP Alliance whose inherent contradictions had translated into
never-ending U-turns on crucial evocative issues.
“To blame Pakistan alone for the political situation or the current unrest in the Valley is a distortion of the truth. The people of J&K had espoused a political sentiment even when there was no external interference and this political sentiment forms the basis of the State’s special status that has since been eroded by extra-constitutional machinations. The political issue in Kashmir is a result of historic blunders and broken promises by successive dispensations in New Delhi. The situation today stands compounded because of the present Central Government’s refusal to even acknowledge that a problem exists in Kashmir”, Omar Abdullah said.
Dr Farooq Abdullah is infamous for changing ideologies like anything. After spending some days with Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) in Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir (POJK) in early 1970s, Dr Farooq has become a staunch pro-India leader of Kashmir Valley with secular and nationalist outlook. The three times Chief Minister of the State also served as Cabinet Minister in the Union Government.
But his party was wiped out in the Valley and he himself for the first time, lost elections. Dr Farooq has thrown his weight behind separatist groups to become relevant in Kashmir politics. In his political career Dr Farooq had lost first elections in his life when he was defeated by PDP candidate Tariq Hamid Karra in 2014 Lok Sabha election from Srinagar Parliamentary seat.
In August this year, the separatist’s trio — Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik — had asked all mainstream politicians including their legislators and ministers to resign and join the ongoing “struggle for azadi”. It is obvious that Dr Farooq has offered support to separatist only to keep them in good humour for political reasons.
According to K B Jandial, former member of JKPSC, “Dr Abdullah in a way, himself put the cat out of the bag by cautioning NC cadre in the same speech, against the influence of money that would be pumped in the forthcoming by-polls for Srinagar and Anantnag Lok Sabha seats. So, he is decidedly eying for both Lok Sabha seats of Srinagar and Anantnag. Intriguingly, a leader who is assuring the united Hurriyat of NC’s support for their movement for Azadi is at the same time preparing for Lok Sabha by-polls and re-entering the highest democratic
institution of India where he and his worthy son had spent many years in the past. How does this contradiction explain his sincerity for allegiance to separatists’ cause? One interesting
comment this development evoked from a Kashmiri intellectual on social media– “Kashmir can walk in two opposite directions at the same time”.