Politicians seeking withdrawal of forces playing ‘cheap’ politics: Azad

Politicians seeking withdrawal of forces playing ‘cheap’ politics: Azad

17 November 2012
The Daily Excelsior
Gopal Sharma

Kathua: Launching a veiled attack on the coalition partner (NC), Union Health and Family Welfare Minister and senior All India Congress Committee leader, Ghulam Nabi Azad today said that the 'politicians' speaking against security forces and demanding their (troops) withdrawal from the State are playing 'cheap and dirty politics' just for making their base and secure vote bank. Addressing a grand function organized by Congress MP, Ch Lal Singh to pay tributes to the martyrs and honour their families here today, the AICC leader launching veiled attack on the coalition partner and also those speaking against AFSPA said,' people speaking against security forces defending their borders, protecting them and their families are doing great injustice to them (soldiers) and the country. If they can not give them respect and honour, at least they should not do injustice with them.' 'It is unfortunate that some people for their selfish political motives and further strengthening their base and make vote bank, are defaming armed forces and showing disrespect to the thousands of martyrs hailing from various States of the country who laid down their lives in Kashmir while fighting with militants, guarding borders and protecting politicians, their families and others. Some of them even say that security forces do not want to leave the State. It should be well understood by those speaking against forces that a soldier from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu or Maharashtra is going to grab land here or get jobs for their children. He is here just to protect us, ensure safety of the people and to guard borders. But unfortunately, we are so selfish and mean that we can go to any extent to defame our forces for vested interests, cheap politics and vote bank,' Mr Azad maintained. Referring to last two decades of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir, Mr Azad said over 5000 security force personnel, SPOs besides many VDCs lost their lives. Thousands of innocent civilians were also killed during last 20 years due to grenade attacks, explosions and firing incidents. Many mothers lost their sons, wives their husbands and children turned orphan. But the militants have to die because they have adopted this path of bloodshed and violence with their own will. There should not be any mercy for them. But if the security men did something wrong or committed excesses, they were punished severely and strict action was taken against them. There are so many such examples in this State, Mr Azad added. While commending the sacrifices of the security forces, Mr Azad said when cold wave grips entire northern region and the movement of people is restricted due to extreme cold, the soldiers in -40 to -50 degree temperature at Siachen glacier and other parts of Ladakh region guard our boundaries where even the shelters are made up of snow. They are made to live there for six long months continuously under this temperature. One can imagine the sort of duty they are performing for the country and their sacrifices. They are also sons of some mothers and brothers of their sisters, he maintained. Mr Azad said it is collective responsibility of the society and the Government to look after and help and families of the martyrs. It is not possible to bring back the 'Shaheeds' but by sharing the grief and problems of their families, we can do a great service to them. Today the meaning of sacrifice has also been diluted by some people. In politics if some one gives 10-15 years to a party and if he is denied some position or ticket, he claims to have sacrificed (Kurwani) for the party. But in real meaning of ' Kurwani' is the supreme sacrifice given by these soldiers who served their nation selflessly. He lauded the efforts of Ch Lal Singh for organising this function in the honour of martyrs every year. Later, Mr Azad also honoured nearly 100 families of the martyrs. Earlier, speaking to media-persons in Jammu, Mr Azad strongly condemned the statement of National Conference leader Mustafa Kamal in which he had said that India was the real enemy of the State and not Pakistan. 'I completely disagree and condemn the statement of Mr Kamal. I had gone through the statement of NC leader in which he had clearly said that he has no hesitation in saying that India is the real enemy of State and not Pakistan,' Mr Azad maintained. 'After issuing such statement, his denial is meaningless' the Health Minister said adding that a person of ruling party, whose nephew is Chief Minister and brother is Union Minister should not make such remarks. The party (NC) has said that the statement is irresponsible but it is not enough. NC must clarify its position on Kamal's remarks. Now, it is up to them to take some decision in this regard,' the AICC leader said. Dy Chief Minister, Tara Chand, MP Lal Singh, Minister for Tourism and Culture Nawang Rigzin Jora, Minister of State for Cooperatives, Finance and Higher Education Dr Manohar Lal Sharma, MLC Subash Gupta also spoke in the Kathua rally. Others present on the occasion included former Ministers, Ghulam Mohd Saroori, Jugal Kishore Sharma, MLA Banihal Vikar Rasool, MLA Chenani Krishan Chand Bhagat, MLC Naresh Gupta, and Vinod Mishra. In a yet another function organized by Gujjar leader Abdul Hamid Choudhary at Sainik Colony in Jammu this evening, Mr Azad said Congress is committed for providing reservation to the SCs, STs and women in the Block Development Councils. He said that for this reason only his party has chosen Sarpanch Sham Lal Bhagat of Assar area in Doda from SC community for the election to the MLC seat from Jammu region. He also stressed that BDC elections should be held with in two months in the State. Earlier, Hamid Choudhary and Anwar Chowdhary while speaking on the occasion, projected the issues of the community and also demanded that BDC elections be held within two months and it should not be delayed beyond December. Mr Azad left for the Union capital late in the evening in a train.