NC president Farooq Abdullah today said there was a need to convince political parties in Delhi to go through the autonomy report on Jammu and Kashmir for addressing the Kashmir issue, while describing erstwhile NDA government’s “rejection” of autonomy document as unfortunate.
“Unfortunately no one in Delhi has read the Autonomy document. And without reading, how can they think over it. There is a need to convince them to go through it first,” Farooq said here.
The Union Minister, who is the National Conference’s candidate for Srinagar Parliamentary Constituency, was addressing a workers’ convention at party headquarters.
Abdullah said talking about Autonomy for Jammu and Kashmir was no sin as it is the fundamental right of the people.
“We talked about Autonomy and that was no sin. Autonomy is our right, fundamental right. But you people (NDA government) bought few of our people and eroded our Autonomy and tried to wipe us out. But God kept our voice alive and we raised that again,” he said, in an apparent reference to PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.
The NC president said the NDA government had rejected the proposal without actually reading it.
“When we gave the document of Autonomy to the Centre, (then prime minister Atal Bihari) Vajpayee called me and said ‘we are not ready to accept it’. I asked him if he had read that. He replied he had not. Without reading the document, they had thrown it away,” Abdullah said.
He said BJP wants to “bury” Article 370, which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir, but his party will not allow it.
“In their hearts, they wanted to bury Article 370. It was in their hearts then and it is in their hearts even now. But, God willing, till NC is alive, they will never be able to bury Article 370. Let them get one lakh Muftis, they will not be able to destroy the special status of Jammu and Kashmir,” Abdullah said.
He alleged that BJP had “looted” the rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and people will not rest till they get back their rights.
“We do not ask for throne, but ask for our right. We do not ask a favour from you. You have looted our right from us and we will not rest till we get our right. Do not think that we will change. We will not change. We will eat half-a-loaf of bread, but we will not bow down,” he said.
Without naming BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, Abdullah said he (Modi) wants to suppress the voice of the people of Kashmir.
“There is a new wave in India. I am not against any man, but I am against the plans of that man. He says he will address the issue of Kashmir within the domain of humanity. He said that in Jammu recently. But I know what is in his heart. He wants to suppress us, so as to snatch our voice,” the Union Minister said.
Abdullah said he was ready to give up power but would not trade the people of Kashmir.
“I feel disappointed with you (PDP patron) Mufti sahab (Mohammad Sayeed) and your daughter (Mehbooba Mufti) that on one hand you say you are Kashmiris but on the other hand don’t you see the storm which is coming and which you want to hold.
“If you love the power so much, take it. We are ready to give it up, but do not trade the people of Kashmir. You have to die as Farooq Abdullah has to. What answer will you give to God?,” he said.
Abdullah said BJP leaders has been parroting injustice by the state government towards Jammu and Ladakh, but never talk about the people of Kashmir.
“I challenge (Arun) Jaitley, Modi or anyone else from BJP to show that Kashmir has taken away Ladakh or Jammu’s share in reality. Kashmir is still oppressed. They say injustice has been done to the people of Jammu and Ladakh, but they do not talk about us. We are still there where we were, but you do not think about us.
“Yes we are Muslims and we are proud of that. And being a Muslim is no sin. We have never betrayed our nation or religion and will never. But you see us with an evil-eye,” Abdullah said.
“You do not have love for us in your hearts. You love our land but not the people here. The day you love the people of this land, that day we will not have any bitterness. Try to love us,” he added.
He asked people to pray to God for bestowing wisdom on Pakistan.
“Pray that our neighbour gets wisdom so that it tries to understand us and see which circumstances we are in,” he said.
On the occasion, Javed Kochak, son of Ghulam Nabi Kochak, who was a close associate of NC founder and former chief minister Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, joined the NC. (AGENCIES)