Srinagar: Opposition National Conference (NC), President and Member of Parliament, Dr. Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday said the time had come to start reversing the extension of all Central Laws that were extended to J&K after 1953 in continuation of the spirit of the State’s unique political arrangement with the rest of the country.
Addressing a rousing public meeting in Uri today, Dr. Farooq Abdullah also urged New Delhi and Islamabad to start a sustained, comprehensive dialogue on Kashmir as it was against the interests of both countries to prolong the political issue.
“The time has come to reverse the extension of all Central Laws that were extended to J&K post-1953 through pliant regimes that were installed in J&K through covert and undemocratic machinations to disempower the people of the State and rob them of their political identity. The erosion of the State’s Autonomy is the genesis of the political problem in Jammu and Kashmir and created a sense of disenchantment and disillusionment in the people. It was this sense of betrayal, disenchantment and disillusionment that has fuelled the eruption of turmoil and unrest in Kashmir at various regular intervals in our history and this is what New Delhi needs to acknowledge. The restoration of Autonomy to J&K is non-negotiable”, Dr. Farooq Abdullah said.
“The people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh are the rightful and primary stakeholders and their political identity, honour and sense of dignity is supreme and no power on earth can rob them of their right to decide their political future. Our people have suffered immensely and rendered unimaginable sacrifices but never compromised on their aspirations and sentiments. Our people won’t surrender before achieving their goal of an acceptable political resolution that takes into account their aspirations”, Dr. Farooq Abdullah said.
He reminded Prime Minister Narendra Modi of his speech where he underlined the need to embrace the people of Kashmir as opposed to dealing with them operationally and militarily.
“Prime Minister Modi should now take concrete steps to engage with the people of Kashmir with full dignity and respect for their sentiments in a sustained effort to resolve the Kashmir Issue. It is against the interests of both India and Pakistan to keep the Kashmir Issue unresolved and has staggering economic and political costs for both neighbours. If we want to usher the subcontinent into an era of peace, prosperity and economic progress – it is imperative to resolve the Kashmir Issue as per the sentiments and the aspirations of its people”, the former Chief Minister added.
He expressed disappointment over PDP’s sellout over the crucial issue of the State’s fiscal autonomy and said the extension of GST to J&K was a plot to deprive the people of J&K of their political honour.
“PDP, in an effort to cling to power and ensure it remains in the Government, compromised on the State’s fiscal autonomy and wreaked havoc with the State’s remaining autonomy. Because of PDP our State Cabinet and State Legislature has been disempowered in matters of taxation and tax policy. Today we are all at the mercy of the Central GST Council and our handicrafts sector, our artisans and businessmen are facing insurmountable challenges due to PDP’s sellout. This quid-pro-quo compromise by the PDP will have far-reaching economic and political implications for the State and its people”, he added.
On this occasion Dr. Farooq Abdullah formally welcomed and admitted Dr. Sajjad Uri into National Conference, who resigned from Government Service after twelve years of service with a goal of serving the people of Uri.
“I welcome Dr. Sajjad Uri into the party fold and congratulate him for organizing such a rousing, successful public meeting. It is young, educated and passionate young men who will help in ushering our State into a period of corrective peace, growth and stability and I have full faith in Dr. Sajjad Uri’s ability to serve the people with full honesty and dedication”, Dr. Farooq Abdullah said.