April 2002 News

Dubai meet will not help in resolving J&K issue: Omar

26 April 2002
The Pioneer
K Balasubrahmanyam

New Delhi: Minister of State for External Affairs and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah has said that no concrete measure, which would contribute to resolving the Jammu and Kashmir issue, would emerge as a result of recent confabulations held in Dubai. Speaking to The Pioneer, Mr Abdullah dismissed the Dubai conclave where two All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC) leaders met Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) former Prime Minister Sardar Qayyum Khan and other ''non- resident'' Kashmiri leaders. Sounding confident, Mr Abdullah was of the view that his taking over NC as its president would signify a generation change in Jammu and Kashmir polity. ''I know it is a difficult job to keep the morale of the party cadre high when each passing day they are being killed by the militants and also to initiate development activities in the state. However, I am determined to do this,'' he said. All set to take over the reigns from his father, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, the minister said that there was a deep divide in the APHC over the Dubai conclave. ''It is evident with the fact that other Hurriyat leaders publicly criticised ''moderate'' Mirwaiz Omar Farooq and Abdul Ghani Lone for visiting Dubai and holding confabulations with the PoK leaders without their knowldege. ''Hurriyat leaders are working for cross purposes. The Hurriyat is suffering from great amount of inner turmoil,'' Mr Abdullah said. Maintaining that his presence in Dubai was just a coincidence and the National Conference has no role in the Dubai meeting, Mr Abdullah said the NC would prefer to sit back and see what is happening as the party does do not want to be accused of sabotaging a peace process. Ridiculing the proposal drafted at the Dubai conclave for third party mediation over the Jammua and Kashmir dispute, Mr Abdullah categorically stated that the NC was not prepared for any third party mediation, facilitation or intervention. ''Third Party mediation in the Kashmir issue is totally contrary to the Shimla Agreement and Lahore Declartion. The Shimla Agreement is binding. Both India and Pakistan have to resolve the problem between themselves,'' he said. Coming down heavily on the APHC, Mr Abdullah said the combine does not have ''guts to face elections in the state. If they are real representatives of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, they should contest the election and prove their support base. Otherwise, they should shut up and sit back at home.'' The Hurriyat was known for changing its stand frequently and never shown any commitment to solve the Kashmir issue, Mr Abdullah observed. ''The government is ready to discuss with the so- called moderate Hurriyat leaders provided they come out of it. We can not talk to the persons under the ''tainted'' cover of Hurriyat,'' he said. Mr Abdullah said that the NC was ready to give an explanation on the performance of state government in the past five years. He demanded an explanation from the Hurriyat leaders for aiding and abetting terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. ''The Hurriyat leaders siphoned off crores of rupees not in the name of Jammu and Kashmir but even in the name of Islam and God. The Hurriyat leaders collected Rs 3 crore for renovation of Majar-e-sharif and did not spend even a single rupee for the purpose. It is the Jammu and Kashmir Government and a Muslim trust that renovated the mosque. Where did this money go?'' he questioned. Mr Abdullah criticised the Hurriyat leaders for taking shelter under the security cover provided by the Union Government when more than 70,000 innocent Kashmiris have died in the last decade in terrorist acts supported and encouraged by these leaders.

 

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