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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Kashmir is and will always remain India’s integral part: Farooq

Delhi would never approach Hurriyat with a begging bowl’

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Sep 8: In sharp contrast to Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s extra-cautious approach vis-à-vis Kashmiri separatists, National Conference patriarch and union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Dr Farooq Abdullah today asserted that New Delhi would never approach Hurriyat with a begging bowl to get it on board.

“Hurriyat will have to initiate the dialogue rather than waiting for Government of India’s invitation card. Let it be clear to them that New Delhi would never approach them with a begging bowl”, Dr Abdullah told mediapersons after paying tributes to his parents on occasion of the  30th death anniversary of the NC’s founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah at his mausoleum at Hazratbal. His terse reaction came out when a reporter wanted to know how the NC supremo viewed the Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq’s expression of “willingness” to enter into a dialogue with Delhi

In his typical style, Dr Abdullah was quick to make it clear that a political resolution was the only way out though, according to him, “Kashmir is and always continue to be an integral part of India”. “It can never be separated from India”, he asserted.

Regarding the Indo-Pakistan foreign minister level talks, Dr Abdullah expressed hope that the two countries would initiate some important confidence building measures which would eventually pave way for Kashmir’s resolution. He said that Kashmir issue had to be resolved in the interest of peace and stability in the Sub-continent.  

Dr Abdullah said that tireless efforts and leadership of Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah had galvanized the oppressed people of the State to rise against autocracy and injustice. He said the visionary approach, which the NC founder adopted, won him appreciation and accolades not only during his lifetime but also for all time to come.

“Sheikh Sahab was a great revolutionary. When the Sub-continent was engulfed in communal flames around the Partition, it was only his resolve and determination that protected Kashmir’s secular ethos and communal harmony. That made Mahatma Gandhi see a ray of hope in Valley, contrary to a communal flare up in rest of the Sub-continent”, Dr Abdullah said on the occasion.

Earlier, referring to today’s lead item in Early Times, NC’s top brass mobilized its cadres throughout cadres over telephone between, asking hundreds of the party workers to reach Hazratbal for a remembrance meeting. Informed sources, corroborated by three District SSPs, revealed that the Central leadership in Srinagar made desperate calls to district functionaries from 0630 hours to 0730 hours to get up urgently and reach Hazratbal for a public meeting at Sheikh’s mausoleum. No such mobilization had been made till the wee hours today.

Most of the party’s senior and medium-rung leaders, including a number of Ministers and legislators, former legislators besides Dr Abdullah and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah attended the congregational Fatiha Khwani at Hazratbal amid tight security arrangements.

Among others, Chief Minister visited the mausoleum and paid floral tributes to his grandfather, Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, and grandmother, Begam Akbar Jehan, both buried in a public park reclaimed on the banks of Dal Lake beside the picturesque Naseem Bagh and Kashmir University campuses. Omar prayed for J&K’s peace and prosperity.

In his message, Chief Minister described Sheikh Sahib as an architect of the multi-religious, multi-cultural state and a secular and democratic polity. While underscoring significance of Sheikh Abdullah’s struggle and sacrifices for Jammu and Kashmir state, Omar Abdullah said that welfare and public empowerment was the National Conference founder’s cherished desire and goal and he made all the possible endeavours in this direction.

“Sheikh Sahib propagated and nurtured amity, brotherhood and mutual trust between various sections of the society and lived as a torch-bearer of Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and Christian unity. His slogan of ‘Sher-i-Kashmir Ka Kya Irshad, Hindu-Muslim-Sikh Ittihad’ still reverberates in the hearts and minds of people and its resonance is equally felt in the mountains, valleys and planes of Jammu and Kashmir”, he said and vowed his commitment for strengthening this preaching and teaching of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah.

Omar said that Sheikh Abdullah laid the edifice of ‘Naya Kashmir’ with a clear vision of public empowerment and involvement in the formulation and implementation of development plans in accordance with the aspirations of the people and requirements of the areas. He said that his government would put in all efforts to work for realizing the progressive, peaceful and economically prosperous New Jammu and Kashmir as envisioned by Sheikh.

Omar said that the best way of paying tributes to Shiek Sahab was to follow his footprints and work together for achieving peace and prosperity for the State and strengthening the cherished secular democratic values advocated and propagated by the NC founder.

He said that the foundation laid by Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah to universalize education and healthcare facilities in the State and uplift the downtrodden sections of the society by upgrading their socio-economic and education status clearly describes the love Sheikh Sahib possessed for the common people especially belonging to poorer sections of the society.

Chief Minister said that the concept of single line administration and devolution of power from central level to grass roots introduced and implemented by Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah constitutes the necessary pillar in good-governance and public empowerment. He said that the revolutionary measure of land to tiller taken by Sheikh Sahib had helped a lot to fill up the gap between the haves and the have-nots and built a society on the principle of equality and justice.


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