Srinagar: President of the Awami Itehad Party, Engineer Abdul Rashid Sheikh on Thursday called for a special session of state Legislative Assembly to pass a resolution calling for complete restoration of the autonomy that was eroded in 1953 by New Delhi.
“I request NC and PDP, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti to call a special session of the Assembly, and let’s pass a resolution and demand a complete restoration of autonomy of the state under Article 370,” Rashid told reporters here.
Rashid said his party representatives met Omar, who is also the leader of the House, to demand a special session of the Assembly.
He said he had never expected that a day will come when New Delhi would seriously debate the revocation of Article 370.
Rashid described NC and PDP as “stooges of Delhi who had time and gain eroded the very status of the Article 370 and the special status of the state.”
“Kashmiris are fighting for the Kashmir resolution since 1947. Even when armed resistance began in 1989, the then Prime Ministers of India from P V Narasimha Rao to Manmohan Singh all talked about Kashmir issue, but no one did anything to resolve it,” he said.
Rashid said the special status of the state was gradually eroded and it is for the state Assembly to send a strong message that Kashmiris can’t be taken for granted every time.
He said the state Assembly should make it clear to Delhi that autonomy is not the final resolution to the Kashmir dispute. “We must tell India in a strongest possible message that Kashmir is a dispute and the only possible solution to it is right to self-determination,” he said.
Rashid said both NC and PDP were exposed when the resolution for Afzal Guru was introduced in the Assembly by him, and both the parties remained silent over the issue.
“They are selling dreams in the name of autonomy and self-rule when in reality they weakened the special status of the state when they were in power,” he said.
Rashid said he wanted to ask Pakistan premier Nawaz Sharif, who attended Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony as Prime Minister of India, that when Kashmiri people participate in elections they are being labeled as traitors, “but what about those who clap and attend those elected representatives in oath taking ceremonies?”
“We simply want to know from (Sharif) that when they support election boycott call in Kashmir and label me and others who take part in elections as traitors, what about those who attended the oath-taking ceremonies and clap on the ministers who talk about scrapping of special status of Kashmiris,” he added.