Expressing confidence that the stakeholders would take an independent view on the Centre’s offer of dialogue, senior PDP leader and Minister for Public Works and Culture, Naeem Akhtar, today hit out at the National Conference for attempting to sabotage the prospects of peace and stability in Jammu and Kashmir.
“The politics of National Conference has thrived on disruptions and turmoil in Jammu and Kashmir,” Akhtar said. “The party is convinced that it can survive only by being part of the problem rather than the solution for which post-2002 the entire mainstream has been campaigning in the state.”
The Minister said Dr Farooq’s latest statement, wherein he warned Hurriyat against participating in the Kashmir dialogue initiated by the Centre, has once again sent out a signal that he can use his political position only to subvert any process aimed at bringing peace and stability to Jammu and Kashmir.
“Dr Abdullah will not like a permanent and dignified solution to our problems as his party has always thrived on confusion, somersault and U-turns which have landed the state in a crisis affecting many generations,” he said.
Akhtar said Dr Abdullah’s latest hit-and-run statement on the eve of his departure to London is continuation of his persistent attempts at torpedoing very serious efforts at resolution of our problems, “People of J&K now know fully where the party stands in respect of the prevailing peace discourse in the state,” he said.
He said during the tenure of IK Gujral, a government of which Dr Abdullah’s National Conference was a participant, the initiative to open peace talks with the Hurriyat had met with resistance by NC. “Dr Abdullah had threatened to revolt against India if such a peace mission was launched in the state,” Akhtar recalled.
“Later, when Dr Abdullah was part of the coalition led by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and his son was a junior minister in the central government, Dr Abdullah again defied the Centre’s unilateral ceasefire. He and his then DG of J&K Police, Ashok Suri, said at that time that the ceasefire decision was not binding on the state government and the state police, and they will go after militants and kill them which resulted in the breakdown of the central initiative.”
Akhtar said there has always been a feeling that Dr Abdullah’s autonomy resolution was inspired by the panic caused by the Vajpayee government’s efforts at engaging the Hurriyat in a dialogue. “He buried the resolution after his coalition partner told him to choose between power and autonomy. Obviously, he choose power as has been quoted by LK Advani in his biography”.
The Minister said that going by the latest sinister statement masked as a warning to the Hurriyat, Dr Abdullah looks like he is still using the dead horse of autonomy to subvert any process of resolving Kashmir.
“He brings out the ghost of autonomy every time he is fighting election to ensure that peace doesn’t return to the land that has been a victim of his family politics since 1931.”
“Dr Farooq is on record having said that his government will make the Hurriyat rot in jails. On different occasions, he has talked about bombarding Pakistan and showering bullets on Kashmiris. It will be better for J&K if the National Conference president explains these careless remarks first before warning other about what to do and what not to do,” he said.
Akhtar said the National Conference leadership is deluded into believing that the party has a divine right to decide the destiny of Jammu and Kashmir. “Nothing can be further from reality. Dialogue and good relations between India and Pakistan is the only way to end the turmoil in Kashmir. It is the raison d’être of Peoples Democratic Party and we will pursue it with full force,” he said.