J&K accession to India is a historic reality: Farooq

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 the Constitution.

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 on it.

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, and plunder.

"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.

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