Abdullahs and a hapless Kashmiri
Wednesday, 14 Dec 2011 at 11:46
The wounded, bruised and mauled Kashmir stays where it was three decades ago. Huge buildings have been erected, roads have been macadamized and bridges are being constructed but uncertainty prevails in the one time abode of saints
Thirty-five years after Indira-Abdullah accord, Kashmir continues to bleed. Nothing has changed except for a fly-over from secretariat entrance to Budshah Bridge.
In 1975 the political leadership ended their `political wilderness’. The accord infused new life in them and they promised to strive for an Izzat aur aabiru ka muqaam (honour and respect) for Kashmiris. Sher-e-Kashmir made his deputy, Mirza Muhammad Afzal Beg fight for the right to self
determination for 22 years. Although Sheikh stayed away from the Plebiscite Front but issued statements from time to time seeking enforcement of this right. The gullible Kashmiris supported him. They laid down their lives but as soon as he assumed power, this time as chief minister of the state, he forgot self-determination and framed Public Safety Act (PSA) to `tame’ all those who continued their fight for self determination.
However, the accord failed to deliver. After 12 years, Kashmiris were up in arms against India seeking their unalienable right to self determination. The demand had been abandoned just twelve years ago by Sher-e-Kashmir himself.
Sher-e-Kashmir’s son, Dr Farooq Abdullah believed in totality of accession. Notwithstanding Farooq’s `flirtation’ with JKLF, he never chanted the slogan of self determination to fool Kashmiris. On the contrary, he repeatedly urged New Delhi to take military action against Pakistan for abetting, instigating and encouraging terrorism in Jammu Kashmir. But then came a time when National Conference had to sit in the opposition. Three years ago, at a book release function at Jammu, Farooq expressed his anger over `atrocities inflicted by the army on innocent Kashmiris’. He said: “We have been forced to rethink over accession.” But soon after the National Conference assumed power in 2008, accession became total and Kashmir an integral part of India once again. Angered by the on-going agitation, Farooq Abdullah, while talking to media at Delhi said: “Kashmir Ko Goli Maro.” (Shoot Kashmiris).
The third generation Abdullah broke all records. He ventured in an area where his great grandfather dreaded to tread. Addressing the assembly last October he said Kashmir was an international dispute. He rejected totality of accession. “The accession is temporary and conditional.” His statement confused the gullible Kashmiri yet again. What did Kashmiris achieve during the past 35-years?
Two months ago Omar raised the AFSPA revocation issue yet again. Earlier he had said that the law would remain there till needed. What prompted Omar to raise the issue yet again? The issue of mass graves and the alleged custodial death of a National Conference worker had pushed Omar to the wall. To divert the attention of the people he raised the issue. This is exactly what he did in October last year. When accused of governance and trust deficit by New Delhi, he challenged the totality of accession. He even said Jammu Kashmir was a disputed territory. The trick worked and Omar survived. But this time, the people know Omar has the powers to lift AFSPA. If he is sincere in his campaign, let him exercise his powers. It seems the National Conference has run out of issues. Addressing a function after launching the Wular Conservation Project last week, Omar asserted that people have a right to relish peace benefits. And peace, according to NC President shall return after opening up of liquor shops and cinema halls in Kashmir.
Taking PDP to task without naming it, Omar Abdullah said that the party is politicking on the issue of AFSPA speaking three different languages at Srinagar, Jammu and New Delhi. “While the party favours its revocation in the Valley, it keeps mum at Jammu, and at New Delhi says that the AFSPA should be removed only after Army permits to do so”, he said adding that this political adventurism and double speak is only aimed at vested interests to deceive the people at all the three places.
Curiously Omar also has issued different statements at different times. He said New Delhi was creating hurdles in its revocation. Then he said the CrPC would be amended to protect the interests of the army. "I’d lift it (AFSPA) tomorrow if I was reasonably confident it won’t be used to spread lies rumours and fear as news", he tweeted. This was the first time when Omar admitted that he had the power to lift the law.
The wounded, bruised and mauled Kashmir stays where it was three decades ago. Yes, huge buildings have been erected, roads have been recently macadamized and bridges are being constructed but uncertainty prevails in the one time abode of saints.
The commoner has a question for the Abdullahs. When will the quest for Izzat aur aabiru ka muqaam end ?
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