The Abdullahs have always sacrificed power: Omar
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah recently ruled out the possibility of his resignation and expressed hope that the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers would be withdrawn from the entire state.
Following are excerpts from an interview with the CM:
What are your expectations from the all-party delegation's visit and how do you react to some sections who are demanding your resignation?
I am not the one who shows his back when problems are there. I am a fighter and will overcome this crisis for the people who have voted me to power. Inshallah, we will overcome this soon.
Now let us understand who is making demands for my resignation -- some frustrated political elements who failed to make it to power in the 2008 elections. Even the separatists -- be it Syed Ali Shah Geelani or the Mirwaiz -- have no issues with my government and are articulating an ideology which they have been practising for the last two decades.
I, as the CM, can only assure on behalf of my government that all those who are sincere about finding a solution to the present crises will be facilitated to talk to the delegation and I urge all those who have got the invite to use this opportunity to express their views to the visiting team so that the entire political spectrum of the country develops an understanding of the issue and helps in its resolution by evolving a consensus.
I hope they meet all sections of people -- be it from the mainstream or separatist outfits. I also want to make an appeal to all those, other than the invitees, who want to meet the delegation. They should get in touch with the district authorities who will facilitate (the meeting).
Image: Omar Abdullah
'My endeavour is only to take Kashmir forward'
How does one explain these passionate cries for azaadi? Many keen observers say the situation has reached a point of no return. How does one politically resolve and calm tempers?
I do not agree with the point that the situation has reached a point of no return. We have inherited a problem and steps are being taken to build confidence and steps will be taken -- as my endeavour is only to take Kashmir forward.
It has been a difficult time but my government's firm resolve is to address concerns of all the stakeholders. I am confident that the all-party delegation will help the state and the Union government in paving the way forward.
'The Abdullahs and the National Conference have suffered'
There is a feeling that the Abdullah family does not want to let go of political power?
This is an allegation which has no basis because the history of Kashmir will bear testimony that the Abdullahs have always sacrificed power and personal comfort for the welfare of the people of the state. They have never misguided its people for personal gains and have instead always voiced the truth, however, bitter it may be.
In the process of standing for the truth, the Abdullahs and the National Conference have suffered but they have never compromised with either their ideology or the people of the state for any petty political gains.
Today, everyone is trying to find faults
There have been over 100 deaths since the beginning of June. Are you worried about this?
Of course I am sad at the turn of events and I don't want mindless loss of lives. Till June, things were normal and everybody was appreciative of my government, its delivery and sincerity. Today everyone is trying to find faults.
What do you expect from the all-party initiative?
Kashmir has seen a lot of bloodshed and destruction in the last two decades. This should not carry on further. Differences have to be brought to the table and there must be an understanding of all issues.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Home Minister P Chidambaram are sincere about finding a lasting solution to the Kashmir issue and have voiced their deep concern for the people of the state on numerous occasions and have emphasised the need to instill confidence in people. There is a seriousness of purpose in their words and I am sure the all-party delegation, after due deliberations, will strengthen their hands and help in evolving a consensus whereby succour and relief will come to the people of the state.
The alienation of people from the process needs to be removed and the trust deficit that has crept in over the last many decades needs to be bridged. But for that, it is important that we rise above our stated positions and party lines and work together. That is a heartfelt message.