Dr Abdullah claimed that those who were demanding freedom were wrong, Azadi is not the issue, we live in a landlocked place
India’s sitting Parliamentarian from Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency and three-time J&K Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah once again went berserk on Wednesday in the border town of Uri.
Addressing a gathering of party workers close to the line of control Dr Abdullah said 70 years have passed but India could not get Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) to date.
“Today, they (India) claim it is our part. So take it (PoK), we are also saying please take it (from Pakistan). We will also see. They (Pakistan) are not weak and are not wearing bangles. They too have the atom bomb. Before we think about war, we should think how we will live as humans,” Abdullah said.
“How long shall we keep saying that (PoK) is our part? That (PoK) is Pakistan and this (J-K) is India.” – Dr Abdullah
Dr Abdullah went on to claim in the same vein, “How long shall we keep saying that (PoK) is our part? It (PoK) is not their father’s share. That (PoK) is Pakistan and this (J-K) is India.”
Dr Abdullah said, “They (Pakistan) drop a bomb, common people and soldiers die here (in Kashmir) and when a bomb is dropped from here, our people and soldiers also die there (PoK). Till when would this storm continue? Till when would the blood of innocents continue to flow,” he told his party workers.
Last week also Dr Farooq Abdullah had triggered a political storm with his ‘outlandish’ remark that the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (POK) belonged to Islamabad, and no war could alter this reality.
Since then his political adversaries including hawks in the Hurriyat Conference have been measuring their swords to settle their political scores with him.
Though it was not for the first time Dr Abdullah has made these observations but the manner in which his adversaries reacted and TV studio anchors debated the topic it created a ‘hullabaloo’ in the corridors of power.
Dr Abdullah had even trained his guns towards separatists by rejecting the idea of ‘azadi’.
The mainstream politicians termed it an unwanted comment of a desperate politician and irresponsible statement on the part of Dr Abdullah to have flagged this issue in this fashion. On the other hand, separatists lambasted Dr Abdullah by saying “power-hungry” politicians have always “played deceit” with people of Kashmir valley.
India has broken our trust : Dr Abdullah
The political storm was raised in the state when Dr Farooq Abdullah said, “I always make it very clear, not only to Indians but to the entire world, that the part which is with Pakistan now belongs to them. This part of Kashmir belongs to India. It will never change, no matter how many wars you wage.”
Batting for autonomy for both parts of Kashmir, Abdullah said India and Pakistan needed to talk so that people from both regions could live in peace.
“India has broken our trust. We showered love and joined hands with them, but they did not treat us fairly. Whatever miseries we are facing are because they back-stabbed the people of Kashmir,” he said. “They should restore our internal autonomy and peace will return,” he added.
Dr Abdullah had even trained his guns towards separatists by rejecting the idea of ‘Azadi’.
Dr Abdullah claimed that those who were demanding freedom were wrong. “Azadi is not the issue. We live in a landlocked place. There is China on one side and India and Pakistan on the other.
All of them have atom bombs and we have nothing except Allah. Those who talk of Azadi are wrong,” he said.
Syed Ali Shah Geelani hit back against Dr Abdullah
Hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani slammed National Conference president Farooq Abdullah for dismissing talk of an independent Kashmir, saying “power-hungry” politicians have always “played deceit” with people.
Blaming mainstream politicians for the prevailing “political uncertainty and chaos” in Jammu and Kashmir, the Hurriyat Conference chairman asked Abdullah to revisit annals of history and claimed that the latter was speaking against the wishes and aspirations of the people.
Hypocrisy is a Geelani trait,” Omar wrote on micro-blogging website Twitter.
“These power-hungry politicians always played deceit. These irresponsible and short-sighted people have always served the interests of their masters. They are barefaced, follow their treacherous politics and are never ashamed of their absurd statements,” Geelani said in a statement here.
Omar Abdullah vs Syed Ali Shah Geelani
Dr Farooq Abdullah’s son and former state Chief Minister Omar Abdullah too joined the chorus with his father by targeting Syed Ali Shah Geelani.
“Can Geelani show me his reaction to the Pak PM who has repeated many times recently that Azadi is not an option for Kashmir. Hypocrisy is a Geelani trait,” Omar wrote on micro-blogging website Twitter.
Omar, in his another tweet, said while Farooq Abdullah’s ancestors were engaged in Kashmir struggle, Geelani was fighting elections and aligning with the then Janata Party.
“Yes, while Farooq Abdullah’s ancestors were engaged in a struggle this man was fighting elections & cosying up to Janata Party,” Omar wrote on Twitter.
In response Spokesman of Hurriyat Conference while criticizing former chief minister Omar Abdullah for his remarks against Geelani, said “hypocrisy and treachery is the trait of National conference. People and particularly youth are fully aware of the treacherous role played by NC leadership.”
“NC since its inception has been playing deceit and folly and people in the state are fully aware of their role,” he added.
“The life and contribution of Geelani is an open book,” spokesman said and asked all pro-Indian parties and their leadership to study the entire record of the state assembly and see that Geelani has never accepted the state as an integral part of India.
“Freedom movements are a sacred mission for legends and brave hearts, hence face hardships and suffer almost all their life,” he said and added, “PDP and NC like parties follow power politics.”
Hurriyat (G) asked Omar Abdullah to explain about the “freedom mission”, his grandfather followed and “when did Geelani beg for a berth in power corridors.”
“The two characters evidently differentiates the role played by Sheikh Abdullah and Syed Ali Geelani, as even on the floor of assembly while pronouncing his stand, Geelani always acknowledged Kashmir as a disputed territory,” spokesman said and added that “Geelani dedicated his entire life for the sacred cause of nation’s freedom and even at ninety is pursuing this mission with full dedication.”
“Sheikh Abdullah played with the sentiments of his nation to secure material gains for his dynasty. We will never allow anybody to play with the sentiments of people,” spokesman said while hitting out at Omar.
Tug of war between Dr Abdullah and Hurriyat leaders
Political observers keeping a close watch on these political developments in the state believe Dr Farooq Abdullah is purposefully raising the issue of PoK and trying to reach out to the disgruntled Kashmiri population who always rallied behind separatists to realise their dream of ‘Azadi’.
By hitting out against the Azadi brigade lead by Hurriyat Conference Dr Abdullah is showing them the mirror too.
Ever since NIA has started investigating the cases of routing ‘hawala’ money to fuel unrest in Kashmir valley their credibility has nose-dived and common people on the streets have stopped responding to their ‘hartal calls’.
Even mainstream politicians who partially sympathised with them and gave them the tacit support have dumped them to save their own skin and reputation in the eyes of the electorate.
Dr Abdullah’s bete noire and former state Chief Minister Mufti Mohd Sayeed always supported the idea of making borders irrelevant on both sides of the line of control to address the issue of Kashmir.
Another viewpoint says, “Dr Abdullah has closely worked with BJP as one of their alliance partners under the leadership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and he is very well aware of the BJP’s commitment towards abrogating Article 370 to address the issue of Kashmir. By claiming that POK belongs to Pakistan Dr Abdullah is virtually trying to convey to the masses that fighting for ‘Azadi’ is irrelevant instead they should demand ‘Autonomy’.
Secondly, the current debate on abolishing Article 35 A is another crucial factor which has prompted Dr Abdullah to once again rake up the issue of converting the line of control into an International border.
Dr Abdullah’s bete noire and former state Chief Minister Mufti Mohd Sayeed always supported the idea of making borders irrelevant on both sides of the line of control to address the issue of Kashmir. Since separatists are fast becoming irrelevant and losing their ground they too have adopted aggressive posturing and instead of lying low they are exposing the dirty politics of Abdullah family before the masses in Kashmir to stay relevant.
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.