Omar Abdullah: 'Our fight no longer for power but for identity'

Omar said there are many states and UTs where no Indian can go and buy land

[File] Former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah | Umer Asif [File] Former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah | Umer Asif

National Conference president Omar Abdullah on Thursday said that their fight is no longer for power or for the chief minister’s chair but for the identity and future of Jammu and Kashmir.

“Curse be on us if we run after power again,” Omar said while addressing party workers in Srinagar.

He said the people will never forgive them if they again set their sight on the secretariat and think when they will capture power.

“This fight is to save ourselves and our identity, integrity and our future,’’ the former chief minister said. 

In an obvious reference to the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration—an alliance formed by six regional parties for the restoration of Article 370—Omar said he wished if the realisation of working together for Jammu and Kashmir had dawned upon the political parties earlier.

“Then we would not have landed in the situation where we find ourselves today,’’ he said. 

Omar said the Centre has repeatedly tried to weaken their voice.

“We got splintered and their conspiracy succeeded,’’ he said. “They wiped out our identity.”

Omar said there are people in Delhi who say they integrated Kashmir with the rest of India. 

“Yet we are discriminated against. Otherwise why have the land laws been changed in Jammu and Kashmir?”

Omar said there are many states like Himachal Pardesh, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Nagaland and union territories where no Indian can go and buy land even today.

“I don’t know what is our fault. Why are we being discriminated against?” 

He said when they complain they are labelled as anti-national. 

“What you snatched from us on August 5 was part of Indian Constitution,’’ he said.  

Had Jammu and Kashmir not been granted a special status, nobody knows what would have been the story of Jammu and Kashmir in 1947, said the NC leader.

Omar said the land laws that have been repealed were enacted by Maharaja Hari Singh before whose statue the BJP leader perform puja.

“Delhi speaks with Nagas who say they do not accept India’s Constitution, flag and sovereignty. Yet you talk to them. We don’t see your television channels declaring them anti-national,’’ he said

“When people of Kashmir try to save their state and their identity, they are labelled as anti-nationals.” 

Omar said if they had to rebel, then their workers like Maqbool Shirvwani would not have played the important role in 1947 for which he is being remembered even today 

“How many names I should mention? There are many who have been killed with bullets, grenades and in mine blast in the last 30 years, because we always said that whatever we want to achieve will be through peaceful means,’’ he said

He said nobody knows what kind of decisions they will be forced to take in future.

“Who knows what Allah has desired for us,’’ he said. “But my father always says and I also believe in it that whatever Allah desires is always good in the end. And no good thing is achieved easily.”  

Referring to PDP’s protest in Srinagar on Wednesday, he said the party was allowed to stage a protest in Jammu against the land laws and the same was disallowed in Kashmir where the protesters were detained.

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