“Judicial interventions the only way out for the release of people from detentions”
“Govt needs to fix bureaucrats”
Srinagar, August 4: National Conference Vice President and Former Chief Minister J&K Omar Abdullah who has been in the line of fire on social media for his views penned in a national daily some days back talks about August 5 decision and its aftermath in Kashmir in a freewheeling interview with Kashmir News Service (KNS).
Srinagar, August 4 (KNS): People and Hurriyat leaders say that they have always read the intention of GOI clearly regarding Kashmir and Article 370 and always criticized mainstream politicians for supporting GOI in J&K and would warn them of its untrusting nature. what is your take on this?
OA: People are always right. The way Delhi treated mainstream politicians here after the abrogation of Article 370 has endorsed the people. They were calling us puppets. It proved them right. I still remember when we were jailed, people celebrated it. Whatever was happening with people earlier was done with mainstream politicians also. So people were jubilant after seeing our humiliation. A decision taken by an individual is not final; this is a base of democracy. The will of the people ultimately prevails. People are power. If anything we knew the intentions of New Delhi, then we would have done what people accuse us of. None of us knew what they are going to do on August 5. We were just apprehensive. But none of us was ready to accept that they will deceive us at this level.
KNS: The abrogation of Article 370 was on agenda of BJP. Why mainstream parties miscalculated it?
OA: It was in Agenda of BJP from last thirty years. I again repeat people are always right. An individual can misconstrue not people. In democracy their opinion guides future strategy.
KNS: Many leaders including former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti are still in detention. Are you hopeful of their release soon?
OA: If we expect Govt will release people on its own, then it is a wrong assessment. In my case, the Government had weak defence in Supreme Court. That became the reason for my freedom. Same happened with Ali Muhammad Sagar and others. The government could not defend their detention in the High Court. Others leaders won’t be released by the Government. They have to knock the doors of Judiciary.
KNS: There has been a lot of criticism against Media policy unveiled by the Government recently.
OA: This is ironic; those who are in the target range are silent. Politicians raised the hue cry against the policy particularly my NC colleagues. Those who accuse me of being silent on Article 370 on twitter and want me to come out on roads are silent on the media policy. Why don’t they come out on roads? Media persons of outside took a jibe at me here saying that when those who have been targeted are silent; why are you guys racking it up? Has their ink dried? These are the same people who would check social networking sites through VPN after the abrogation of Article 370 and did not write a single word. They preferred to remain silent.
KNS: Various projects in J&K are pending and people say bureaucrats are not responsive to their demands and grievances.
OA: Show me one state where projects are not pending. This is an ongoing process. New projects come up. Old projects are completed. Yes if Bureaucrats are not cooperative, Government needs to fix them. Who has stopped the Government? I have never seen this kind of worst scenario whether of electricity or water supply.
KNS: Many political analysts believe that abrogation of Article 370 triggered increased Chinese activity on LAC. Do you agree with the opinion?
OA: I agree. Many political experts and intellectuals are of the same opinion. This is for the second time only Chinese have entered here and don’t want to leave. It has brought the two nuclear power nations at the brink of war. It has internationalised Kashmir issue more and is now accepted widely as a political issue.
KNS: On the floor of the house of J&K Assembly, you once said J&K has acceded to India not merged with it. Another day in a political rally in Anantnag in which then Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi was present. you said Kashmir is a political issue and needs a political solution. Do you still believe what u said on the two occasions?
OA: I still believe the same. ( Part II)