JAMMU: National Conference working president Omar Abdullah has said that the time has come for the prime minister to translate his resolve on restoring the lost glory of Kashmir into action as he referred to the latter’s Independence Day speech.
“Let the Centre come forward, embrace the people and help Jammu and Kashmir steer out of its difficulties,” Omar told a party rally in Rajouri today, at the end of his five-day tour of this border district and Poonch.
Addressing the nation on the 71st Independence Day from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted that his government was committed to restoring the lost glory of Kashmir and its status as “heaven on earth”.
“Na gaali se samasya sulajhne wali hai, na goli se, samasya suljhegi har Kashmiri ko gale lagane se (Kashmir problem cannot be resolved by either bullets or by abuses. It can be resolved by embracing all Kashmiris),” Modi had said.
“The prime minister is like a father figure; he belongs to the entire nation and the entire nation belongs to him. He has to own all and his words from ramparts of the Red Fort were soothing.
“Now the time has come when ‘Goli’ (bullet) and ‘Gaali’ (abuses) are discarded and all embrace each other to create an atmosphere of peace and progress. And, in doing so the prime minister should play the leading role, whether it is to address the internal or the external dimensions of Jammu and Kashmir,” the former chief minister said.
Omar said, “We are part of India and shall continue to be so. We only ask for maintaining and preserving constitutional guarantees granted to our state.”
He was referring to his party’s campaign for safeguarding Article 35A of the Constitution, which gives special status to the residents of Jammu and Kashmir.
He said that fighting for the retention of Article 35A could not be termed as an “anti-national act”.
“Article 35A is custodian of the interests of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions. It is religious neutral, regional neutral and caste neutral,” he added.
On the issue of more and more youths joining the ranks of militants in south Kashmir, Omar said that the people felt “betrayed by the PDP which fought 2014 elections mainly on anti-BJP and anti-RSS plank but ultimately embraced them to be in the cradle of government”.
“The people of the valley in general and south Kashmir in particular are feeling politically let down, he said.