14th August 1997
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah on Thursday said the
state's accession with the Indian Union was a historic reality, which no
power on earth could undo.
In his message on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of India's
Independence, Dr Abdullah said the people of Jammu and Kashmir took a
historic decision under the leadership of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah to
link their destiny with the secular, democratic, and socialist India by
rejecting the two-nation theory.
The Centre, he said, had made certain commitments to preserve the
identity and autonomous character of the state within the framework of
Dr Abdullah said the momentous decision to remain with India was based
on the age-old affinity of values and principles which the people of
Jammu and Kashmir had with the rest of India and there was no going back
In fact, much before this, the people had expressed their unflinching
faith in these values in the Naya Kashmir Charter in the 1930s, he said.
At a time when the entire subcontinent was aflame with communal frenzy,
it was the state of Jammu and Kashmir which remained unscathed from the
all-pervading madness, he said.
"The dawn of Independence 50 years ago was accompanied by the Partition of the country on two diverse planks. While the theocratic state of Pakistan was carved out on the basis of misconceived two-nation theory, India remained a secular democracy, dedicated to the glorious principles and values which guided our freedom struggle," he said.
Dr Abdullah said the aftermath of Partition left behind a trail of
miseries and painful memories of death, destruction, arson, devastation,
"We in Jammu and Kashmir had the dawn of freedom amidst invasion by
raiders supported by Pakistani troops who made a sinister bid to
subjugate us and grab the paradise even before we could taste the
freedom," he said.
"But the people were able to break the chains of slavery of long
autocratic rule and transfer the power to the common man in a true
spirit of democracy," he said.
Though the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to the Indian Union was final,
the chief minister said "we are seeking restoration of eroded autonomy
to preserve our distinct identity."
Dr Abdullah said two committees set up by him in this regard are likely
to submit their reports by September. Their recommendations would be
debated in the legislature and views of political parties sought before
reaching a final decision, he said.
Speaking about militancy in the state, the chief minister said, "The
past eight years were the darkest period of our history because
Pakistan-sponsored militancy soaked our state in the blood of our
wounded hearts and filled our eyes with tears.
"Hardly any section of the population remained unaffected. Our
intellectuals, academicians, religious leaders, scholars, professionals,
literary personalities, mediamen, public men, and public servants, women
and even children were not spared," he said.
"Fortunately, things are looking up and militancy is waning. While the
local militants are becoming more and more inactive after getting
disillusioned with Pakistan, she (Pakistan) is, however, trying to keep
the pot boiling by inducting foreign militants. But we are determined to
eliminate them as the alien cult of militancy has no place in Jammu and
Kashmir," Dr Abdullah said.
The chief minister said the role of the army, security forces, and even the local police in combating and containing militancy is indeed commendable. "They have laid their lives to safeguard integrity and protect the life and property of the people," he added.
"Despite fighting four wars -- three with Pakistan and one with China --
in the past 50 years, we still endeavour for lasting peace and friendly
relations with our neighbors," he said.
"I hope that Pakistan will stop aiding and abetting militancy on our soil and allow us to live in peace and honour. Much blood has been spilled during these eight years and Pakistan must understand that the demon of terrorism eats up its mentors also," the chief minister said.
"When we glance over the last five decades, we have every reason to be
satisfied with our accomplishments. Safeguarding our integrity, national
unity, and strengthening democracy, which has taken deep roots, are the
major spectacular achievements of 50 years along with technological
advancement," he said.