Srinagar: National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah on Tuesday defended his statement that his party would strive hard for restoring the terms of accession of Jammu and Kashmir with India, including the provisions for having a Sadr-e-Riyasat and Wazir-e-Azam in the state.
“I have not said anything wrong. I have only reiterated what is a reality. Is it not true that since the day J&K became the part of the country, it had its own Sadar-e-Riyasat (president) and Wazir-e-Azam (prime minister) till 1965?” Omar said to reporters at Pattan in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.
He said this was the stand of his party even when he was a minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government at the centre.
“This is not something new the NC is saying. When I was a minister in the NDA under Vajpayee, then also it was in our manifesto, then also we were talking about internal autonomy and also about pre-1953 position. If it was right to say these things at that time, then how am I suddenly wrong now?” he said.
The former J&K chief minister said his party wants the restoration of the terms of accession, including the restoration of internal autonomy.
“Our stand is same now as it was then. We want the restoration of internal autonomy of the state and the restoration of the pre-1953 conditions on the basis of which this state had become part of this country,” he said.
In a speech during a rally at Bandipora on Monday, Omar Abdullah had said J&K’s accession with India took place under various constitutional safeguards, and if these safeguards were tampered with, the entire scheme of accession would be under question.
His remarks had drawn sharp criticism from Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has asked the Congress and the ‘mahagatbandhan’ (opposition alliance) to spell out their stand over Omar Abdullah’s statement.