Srinagar: National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah on Sunday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to direct his ministers not to issue conflicting statements on the Kashmir issue.
Citing Union minister Jitendra Singh's remark that "there is no such things as the Kashmir issue", Abdullah at a delegates' session of the National Conference asked why the Centre appointed a special representative for a sustained dialogue then.
He said Dineshwar Sharma, the former Intelligence Bureau chief, who has been tasked with initiating talks with all stakeholders in Kashmir, "would be confused by now due to so many conflicting statements by several Union ministers".
After the Centre named Sharma its representative, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said "talks would be held with everyone and the Hurriyat would be included." However, Singh said there would be no talks with the Hurriyat.
"Then the MoS (Home) also said no talks would be held with the Hurriyat ... This won't work. I have a request. Please stop issuing statements ... the way you brought in 'note bandi' (demonetisation) please implement 'zuban bandi' (keep silent). Otherwise, the initiative would end before it even begins... which would be unfortunate for the state and its people," he said.
The NC working president said the ministers of the central government do not listen to the prime minister. "The prime minister spoke from the Red Fort (on Independence Day)... He said Kashmir's problems can only be resolved by embracing Kashmiris. I wish the ministers had listened to your (PM) speech. It seems your cabinet colleagues were sleeping... None of them pondered over your speech," he said.
On Chidambaram's remark about greater autonomy for Jammu and Kashmir, Abdullah said the senior Congress leader was speaking "on the basis of his experience and he was speaking for himself not for his party".
Autonomy for the state was not outside the purview of the Constitution, he said, adding that J-K "has acceded, not merged with India".
"We have safeguarded our identity. We have our own Constitution, flag and you cannot compare us with other states," he said.
Abdullah said if achieving anything under the Indian Constitution is anti-national, then he is a "proud anti-national".
The NC working president claimed the situation in the state was worse than what it was in 2014.
"I am disappointed that the situation is not the same...The BJP and the PDP ruined this state. There is not a single place in the state where the people are not complaining and where they are not disappointed over their 2014 decision (of voting for the PDP-BJP)," he said.
Criticising the chief minister, Abdullah alleged that Mehbooba's handling of the state has given birth to several militant commanders in the Valley. The NC leader said the Kashmir issue cannot be resolved by economic packages or force, but it has to be resolved politically.
"The resolution of the issue cannot be purchased, neither it can be achieved through the barrel of gun. Dialogue is the only solution," he said.
Updated Date: Oct 29, 2017 21:54 PM