Saying that the Centre wants to “snatch from us our land and expects us to remain silent”, former J-K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said their fight is not for power but identity and land of Jammu and Kashmir.
“Other than a piece of land, what is left with us to give to our children,” Omar said while addressing his party workers at Nawa-e-Subh, the headquarters of the National Conference. “The Government of India wants to snatch from us our land and expects us to remain silent. How will we face our future generations for whom we only leave a piece of land and nothing else”.
Giving the Centre credit for uniting the mainstream political parties in Jammu and Kashmir, Omar said that curse be upon them if they run for power under these circumstances. “Because of the fraud of the centre, we were forced to come on one platform,” he said. “This is not the time that we remain involved in petty political fights, this is not the time to talk about forming the government. I am not counting (how many) seats (we will get). This is not the fight for power; this is not the race for Chief Minister’s chair. Curse be upon us, if under these circumstances, we run for power. People will not forgive us, if our eyes are focused on (civil) secretariat or (Chief Minister’s) chair. This is the fight to save ourselves, this is the fight to save our identity and our future”.
The former chief minister and Vice President of the National Conference said the Centre has always tried to weaken the voices from Jammu and Kashmir. “These people from Delhi never left any tactic to weaken us. The Centre has, time and again, tried to weaken our voice,” he said. “We were divided and they succeeded in fulfilling their plot. Our voice weakened and they snatched from us our identity”.
Questioning the intention behind the Centre’s new land laws for Jammu and Kashmir, Omar said that nobody can buy land in several Indian states. “Even today you can’t buy land in Himachal Pradesh. Nagaland, Meghalaya, Sikkim, no citizen of this country can buy land there,” he said. “And when we raise our voice we are being called anti nationals. What has been snatched from us was given to us by the constitution of this country”.
Attacking the BJP, Omar said that while they are being termed anti-nationals by the BJP, the same party is involved in talks with Nagaland. “The BJP people talk to the people of Nagaland, – the Nagaland, whose leader says that he doesn’t accept the Indian constitution, Indian flag or the sovereignty of India,” he said. “You talk to them. Nobody calls them traitors and anti nationals. But when we stand up to save our identity, you accuse us of rebelling against the country”.
Questioning the government’s move to prevent peaceful protests against the new land laws, Omar asked what New Delhi wants. “What do you want? Do you want us to shun the mainstream for which we have given sacrifices for 30 years. Where in the constitution, it is written that to seek your rights peacefully is anti national?” Omar asked.
Putting his weight behind the unity of the mainstream political forces in Jammu and Kashmir, Omar said that only then they would be taken seriously. “The circumstances have been created as such that there was no option for us but to unite to save our state,” he said. “Until our voice is strong, until it is powerful, nobody would be ready to listen to us”.
Omar said their fight is long but the only option available to them. “This is not the fight for one day, a week or a month. It is possible that some of us will leave us during this fight,” he said. “But other than fighting, we have no option”.
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