Mirwaiz, Bhat Spoke Right; Should Come Forward For Talks: Farooq5 January 2011
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy and National Conference president Dr Farooq Abdullah today concurred with the views of moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq that United Nations has become a failed body and said India, Pakistan, people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and those living across the fence had to find a solution to Kashmir problem. Addressing a joint press conference at the Civil Secretariat, Dr Abdullah and his son and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, categorically ruled out the demand for rotational Chief Ministership in the State after three years saying the two party high commands (National Conference and Congress) had settled the issue at the formation of Government that the NC headed Government will last full six years and all subsequent issues including formation of Council of Ministry and portfolios were decided accordingly. Omar Abdullah, who completed two years term in the office today, came out heavily on the BJP for their plan to hoist tricolor at Lal Chowk in Srinagar on January 26 saying the opposition party was out to burn Kashmir and would be responsible for any repercussions of its act. He said the tricolors will be hoisted all over the State on the Republic Day and there was no need to unfurl a separate one by the BJP. Farooq Abdullah said he was saying this not as a Union Minister but as a National Conference president that the United Nations had failed in Palestine. 'Yes, it has failed but it has helped the world in many ways. The world would have been a worst place without the UN’’. He was responding to a question on the statement of the Mirwaiz that the UN has failed to solve the problem of Kashmir and the people of the State, India and Pakistan would have to find a solution. Calling upon the Mirwaiz to himself come forward for a dialogue with the Centre, the Union Minister said a solution to the problem has to be found by the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh as well as those living across the fence (without naming Pakistan occupied Kashmir) besides the Governments of India and Pakistan. 'I agree with Mirwaiz that a solution has to be found to the problem and it can be found by dialogue not by any other method. Any other method would further create trouble in Kashmir’’, he said and urged the separatist leader to come forward for a dialogue with the Centre. Dr Abdullah wondered that if the Mirwaiz can meet the delegation of MPs from the Centre why can’t he hold talks directly with the Centre? He said it was high time that both nations (India and Pakistan) resolve to have a dialogue on Kashmir and carry it forward to find out a solution to Kashmir. 'It is high time that India and Pakistan start living as friends’’, he added but regretted that politics in both the countries was delaying the talks. However, he praised Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh for taking some initiatives for the dialogue. He said politics in both the countries has been creating problems for the people of Kashmir, who have all through seen death and destruction for many decades. 'Why can’t I go to Sialkote in Pakistan and have tea there. Similarly, the people from there come here. When will the trouble end for our future generations’’? he asked. To a question on the statement of another separatist leader Abdul Ghani Bhat, a former chairman of Hurriyat Conference that the separatist leaders like Mirwaiz Moulvi Farooq and Abdul Ghani Lone were killed by the militants and not police, Dr Abdullah remarked: 'Dher Aaye, Durusat Aaye (better late than never)’’. 'It’s good to speak truth and it’s good that he (Ghani Bhat) has spoken truth. I’m happy that he has revealed truth, albeit late’’, Farooq said. However, he cautioned that Bhat has invited trouble for himself by speaking the truth. 'Usne Apne Liye Khatra Maul Liya Hai’’, he remarked. Both senior and junior Abdullahs set at rest any speculations about fissures in the coalition Government and rotation of the Chief Minister after three years. 'The issue was settled by the high command of two parties at the time of formation of the Government that there will be no rotation of the Chief Minister. There are no fissures in the coalition Government. The fissures are in the newspaper, which has been reporting crisis in the coalition’’, he lamented. Dr Abdullah categorically made it clear that there was no second thought in the minds of Central leaders about rotation of the CM’s post. Taking another dig at one of the newspapers, the Union Minister took exception to the stories that the coalition Government has done nothing. Some papers write ‘Government Baith Gayi Hai. Woh Paper Baith Gaye Hain. Dararen Paper Mein Hain, Sarkaar Mein Naheen (papers say the Government has become defunct. Those papers have become defunct. Fissures are in the papers and not the Government’, he remarked. Pointing towards Health Minister Sham Lal Sharma, who was sitting with him, Dr Abdullah said he was easy with him. He said Sham Sharma was himself witness to a 300 bedded Government hospital where the previous Government had not given any staff, manpower and equipment. He added that Omar and the Government would have to start consolidation process. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also intervened on the question of the rotational Chief Ministership, a demand frequently being raised by the Congress leaders owing loyalty to PCC (I) chief Prof Saif-ud-Din Soz in the public meetings. Omar said at the time of formation of the coalition Government after 2008 Assembly elections in the State, AICC (I) president Sonia Gandhi and NC president (then Omar himself) had worked out the modalities and the Congress had very clearly decided to give the post of the CM to NC for six years. 'Structure of the coalition Government including the Council of Ministry and portfolios of the Ministers were decided on the basis that there will be no rotational Chief Minister’’, Omar said, adding that it was a decision of two party high commands and only they have the power to review it. 'Unless the issue (of rotational CM) is reviewed, there is no scope for any change. Individual leadership of the Congress can speak anything but it is only the high command that matters’’, he asserted. Denying that there was any problem in the coalition Government, the Chief Minister said 25 Cabinet meetings were held in 2010 and there was not a single instance of tension or threat of a walkout by the Ministers. His reference was to clashes in every Cabinet meeting and walkouts by the Ministers in previous PDP-Congress coalition Government. 'Every individual Minister is smooth. We are pulling together in a good and effective manner’’, Omar said but admitted that since NC-Congress was a 'post-poll coalition’’ and the leaders of two parties had fought the elections against each other, they had individual party lines. Political compulsions are there, Dr Farooq Abdullah intervened to remark. On the Congress demand for implementation of 73rd amendment before holding Panchayat elections in the State, Omar said he had asked Soz (chairman of NC-Congress co-ordination committee) to examine and discuss the amendment. 'A committee was formed to study the amendment. We are awaiting final input from the co-ordination committee on the amendment to take a final decision’’, he said, adding that the co-ordination committee is a recommendatory body while the Cabinet has to take a decision and implement the amendment. 'That’s the way how the Government works’’. Charging the BJP with trying to burn Kashmir, which has returned to normal after summer unrest by its proposed move to unfurl tricolor at Lal Chowk in Srinagar on January 26, the Republic Day, the Chief Minister said the BJP would be responsible for any repercussions in the Kashmir valley. 'When Kashmir was burning, the BJP blamed me for the crisis. Now when it is peaceful, they are trying to burn it. They will be responsible for the repercussions if they didn’t desist from the move’’, Omar warned. 'If their aim is to set Kashmir afire, please tell them to stop. If there are repercussions, I will hold them personally responsible’’, he said, adding the tricolor will be hoisted by the Government just close to Lal Chowk, at all district headquarters, police, Army and Government establishments and other public places on the Republic Day. 'What is the need for the BJP to hoist a flag at Lal Chowk. Are they more nationalistic than the rest of us. If a Minister hoists a flag in Srinagar is that something not relevant. Will their flag hoisting be more relevant’’? the Chief Minister asked. Replying to a question on the statement of PDP president Mehbooba Mufti that Omar led Government has no achievements to show during two-year tenure, the Chief Minister observed that the PDP has closed its eyes as they don’t want to see achievements of the Government. 'In all District Development Board (DDB) meetings last month, the PDP MLAs appreciated the works being done by the Government. The PDP wants to ignore them due to political compulsions’’, he remarked. On no response to Rehabilitation Policy, Omar said the Government can’t force anyone to come immediately. Slowly, they (the youth from across the border) will come and go to their houses without any uproar, he added.