Srinagar, Sep 08: Lambasting Prime Minister Narendra Modi for announcing Municipal and Panchayat elections like a ‘Hitler’ from the ramparts of the red fort, National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah on Saturday asked the Modi government to fall in line with Kashmiris to safeguard Article 35-A and Article 370, guaranteeing special status to the people of Jammu and Kashmir or be ready to hear from us “let you have your own way and we our own way.”
He also threatened to boycott Lok Sabha and assembly elections if Modi government doesn’t address the concerns of people of Jammu and Kashmir on Article 35-A and Article 370.
Notably, NC held a commemorative function and congregational Fateha Khwani at Qaid Mazaar, Srinagar to pay tributes to Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah on his 36th Death Anniversary.
Addressing a gathering of party workers and leaders at Qaid mazar Dr Abdullah said that Sher-e-Kashmir’s legacy of selfless service and sacrifice forms the core of the party.
“Sher-e-Kashmir chose to spend 22 years in jails but never compromised on his ideology. He lived his life for the poor and disempowered and every battle he fought was a righteous battle to uphold the dignity of the State and its people,” Dr Abdullah said adding, “The best tribute to the departed leader would be to fight against those forces who are hell bent to divide people based on region and religion with all might and ensure their designs are defeated.”
On the occasion, Dr Abdullah reiterated the party’s commitment of protecting states special status at any cost and said that any tinkering with Art 370 and Art 35 A will prove disastrous for the whole country. He said that the party will not participate in either Assembly or parliament elections until and unless government of India reveals its official stand on Art 35 A and protect it with all its might in the Hon’ble SC.
“If the central government doesn’t stand up for our rights now, enshrined in the constitution and fails to protect Art 35 A in the SC then we will not participate in the forthcoming parliament and assembly elections. This is our identity and any attack on it will be direct attack on the people of the state. We are committed to do everything possible to protect it,” Dr Abdullah said.
“The powers that be used PDP and its leadership to weaken our fiscal autonomy. Implementation of SARFAESI Act and GST in the state was part of that design. Now they have started targeting the validation of Jammu and Kashmir Constitution as well. I want to reiterate here that if they continue with such brazenness then it will be fair to say that our accession with union of India will come into question. Art 35-A is not for any one region or religion of the State but is an article of faith and honour for all regions and religions. It is equally important for people in Jammu and Ladakh as it is in Kashmir,” Dr Abdullah added.
Dr. Farooq Abdullah said that the party welcomes newly appointed Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s assertion of having a cordial relationship with India. “We hope that our government responds positively to him and takes concrete steps to peacefully address all outstanding issues including that of Kashmir,” Dr. Farooq Abdullah said.
Dr Farooq said that the atmosphere of fear and hatred is being created in the state. “TV channels have played a primary role in spreading falsehood about Kashmir and its people. It’s very unfortunate that some people are spreading canards about impending attacks on Kashmiri Pandit families who are residing in Kashmir. This is a very serious issue and deserves in depth investigation by police.”
Senior National Conference Leaders including NC General Secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar, Additional General Secretary Dr. Sheikh Mustafa Kamal, Provincial President Nasir Aslam Wani, Senior Leaders Abdul Rahim Rather, Nazir Gurezi, Chaudhary Muhammad Ramzan, Mian Altaf Ahmed, Mubarak Gul, Muhammad Akbar Lone, Sakina Ittoo, spoke on the occasion. Besides other senior leaders and legislators including Ali Mohammad Dar, Ab Majeed Bhat Larmi, Altaf Kaloo, Sheikh Ishfaq Jabbar, Qaiser Jamsheed Lone, Showkat Hussain, Mir Saifullah, Dr Bashir Veeri, G N Ratanpuri, Javed Dar, Kafeel ur Rehman, Peer Afaq Ahmad, Muhammad Syed Akhoon, Syed Shafi, Showkat Mir, Ghulam Qadir Pardesi, Ghulam Mohiuddin Mir, Salman Sagar, Tanvir Sadiq, Imran Nabi Dar, Sabiya Qadri, Shabir kulley, G R Naz, Nazir Malik and party functionaries from parent, youth and women wings also participated in the commemorative function after offering Fateha at Qaid Mazaar.
Similar commemorative functions were held across the State in all the three regions where speakers paid glowing tributes to Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah. (KNS)