Omar Abdullah jumps on to Geelani bandwagon
by Hari Om on 01 Dec 2013 4 Comments

Way back on January 5, 2009, National Conference (NC) president Omar Abdullah formed a coalition government with the Congress party in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K). He was under oath to defend the J&K Constitution and the Constitution of India and check fissiparous tendencies in the Valley and protect and promote the country’s sovereign interests in the state. Sadly, he acted otherwise.


Omar Abdullah has repeatedly questioned the Indian presence in the State, saying that J&K had only acceded and not merged with India and that “Kashmir is a political problem (read patently communal problem) that needed a political solution” (read semi-independence from India or restoration of a local oligarchy under which the final interpreter of the Constitution would be the Cabinet, and not the J&K High Court of Judicature).  Omar Abdullah repeatedly and brazenly attacked the Indian Army, Indian laws and Indian Constitutional institutions and questioned the Indian stand on J&K both in and outside the Legislative Assembly, in the presence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and during his controversial meetings with foreign delegations and interviews to leading news channels, journals and newspapers, including international dailies.


On November 4, 2013, Omar Abdullah for the first time acknowledged that J&K was an integral part of India like all other States of the Union and that the accession of J&K to India was neither “conditional” nor “incomplete”. What he said on the opening day of the biannual Durbar in Jammu during the press conference in the Civil Secretariat was certainly not an off-the-cuff remark. It was a highly articulated and comprehensive statement. “Please do not put your words in my mouth. I have never used the word conditional nor the word incomplete... I have never used such words. J&K acceded to India. It is a part of India, there is no two ways about that. There may be difference about how the State acceded to India as compared to other States but that does not call into the accession into question. You pull out the Assembly record and see what I had said,” he, inter-alia, said much to the surprise of reporters.


His statement evoked a mixed response from the people in the State. Some construed it as a “big surprise”. Some opined that Omar Abdullah had “finally seen reason”. They showered praises on him for his statement. The state BJP described his statement as the vindication of its age-old stand, while some others expressed the view that it would be “a political hara-kiri to believe him” and asserted that he would not miss any opportunity to wreck the polity both from within and outside to achieve semi-independence from New Delhi. The National Conference has been demanding restoration of a political system as it existed under the J&K Constitutional Act of 1939 or a system under which the State’s ruling elite would exercise unbridled, absolute and extraordinary executive, legislative and judicial powers in all matters, barring those dealing with defence, foreign affairs and communication.  


Those who did not appreciate what Omar Abdullah said that day were completely vindicated on November 17, when he not only did a complete U-turn on the issue of the otherwise lawful accession of J&K to India, but also endorsed the pro-Pakistan radical Islamist Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s atrocious stand on the dangerous and anti-humanity gun culture. On November 11, Syed Ali Shah Geelani had said that “guns can be a permanent solution for J&K”; he recommended the use of the gun just a day after meeting Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s advisor on foreign affairs, at the Pakistan High Commission in Delhi. When condemned roundly by political parties like the BJP and the mainstream media, especially the electronic media, Geelani, who has been thriving on the blood and sweat of gullible ethnic Kashmiri Sunnis, made an insignificant or meaningless change in his original formulation and said that “guns could be one of the options for permanent solution of the Kashmir issue, besides other political means”. The truth remains that he vouched for gun culture like Islamabad uses terror tactics as a weapon to further its geo-political interests in the region and extend its area of influence in the Indian J&K so that it could establish a stranglehold over the invaluable Indus Waters and promote the interests of well-entrenched landed aristocracy in Punjab. 


It would be appropriate to quote verbatim what Omar Abdullah said on November 4 while taking a complete U-turn on the political status of J&K and virtually endorsing the anti-India formulations of seditionist SAS Geelani: “The people of the state (read Kashmiri-speaking Sunnis) opted for guns only to have a political solution to the Kashmir problem and not for roads, electricity, drinking water and any other development issues. The Kashmir problem is not the same as that in Naxalite-hit areas where people have been fighting for development, against economic backwardness and inequality issues. Naxalites in Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand and other states fight because they have been kept devoid of development, including basic amenities like education, electricity, safe drinking water and others, but Kashmir problem is different and needs a political solution, and gun also became a part of solution-seeking”.


This is self-explanatory and should leave none in doubt about what he actually stands for and believes in. Omar Abdullah undoubtedly violated his oath of office and jumped on to Geelani’s seditious bandwagon in order to retain control over a communal constituency and overtly and covertly promote the separatists’ anti-India cause.


This should not surprise or alarm the nation. He had to rectify his ‘mistake’ and pander to a patently communal constituency that had not taken kindly to his November 4 statement on the political status of J&K. What should alarm the nation, however, is the overt support the outrageous views of Syed Ali Shah Geelani got from the Sonia Gandhi Congress.


AICC member and former Cabinet Minister Abdul Gani Vakil, a close associate of Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, the same day accorded dangerous respectability to seditionist Geelani by fervently appealing to him to “revoke his poll boycott call” and trying to allay his apprehensions by saying “holding of election in the state and Kashmir problem are two different things”.


The real threat to India is not from Omar Abdullah, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and others of their ilk. These are insignificant actors and can be easily taken care of. But the Congress party poses a real potential threat to national unity and Indian sovereignty. It is this party that has always considered Kashmiri Muslims a race apart and systematically muddied the Indian waters in Kashmir by making invidious distinctions between Kashmir and other States of the Union. 

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