We are not anti-nationals but only demanding back our rights: Farooq

‘Will remain with India till death’
Nishikant Khajuria
JAMMU, Dec 7: Seeking the restoration of special status under Article 370 to Jammu and Kashmir, National Conference President Dr Farooq Abdullah said that they were not anti-nationals and had been only demanding back the rights of J&K people, which were snatched on August 5, 2019.
Farooq Abdullah also feared that people like him could be shot dead for standing with India but they would remain with India till death.
“We are not demanding anything extra ordinary, palaces, Prime Ministership or Presidentship of the country but only our rights, which you (New Delhi) have snatched from us,” he said while addressing the day-long convention of National Conference Central Zone at Sher-e-Kashmir Bhawan, here today.
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Maintaining that people were resolute enough and steadfast in their resolve to stand for their rights, the NC President said that they would fight for their rights peacefully as they don’t believe in violence.
He referred to the repeal of three farm laws on the face of stiff resistance by the farmers together with 750 sacrifices and said the Centre was forced to announce rollback fearing poll debacle in five States. He alleged that the farm laws were passed in huff, notwithstanding the demand for debate and discussion by the opposition ahead of their passage. “Ultimately the Government had to bow down before the strong will of the farmers. Democracy is all about discussion and creating impediments in this process is against the democratic ethos of the country,” he said and questioned the type of democracy being practicised by the BJP.
“The people of this State have acceded to Mahatma Gandhi’s India and not that of Nathuram Godse. Hate and communal politics is not in the interest of the nation and the BJP should better realise it. India belongs to all, irrespective of region, religion or caste. The nation will flourish by remaining inclusive,” he said while assailing the communal forces to see the compatriots through tainted glasses.
On the purported appointment of non-local candidates, the NC President said this amounts to marginalizing the educated unemployed of Jammu and Kashmir and depriving them of the source of sustenance. He lashed out at policy planners for such decisions and said the day is not far when the outsiders appointed here will have to go back and vacate the posts for the permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.
The NC chief expressed concern over the state of affairs in Jammu and Kashmir, saying bureaucrats have become authority unto themselves, which has subjected the people to miseries and difficulties. “This fact is being even acknowledged by the BJP leaders themselves, who are openly expressing concern,” he added.
Farooq Abdullah also criticized the Government decision of halting Durbar Move and said that the move has hugely impacted the Jammu businesses. He also questioned the claims of normalcy and revival of tourism across J&K.
Dr Farooq Abdullah also dwelt upon the prevailing political situation across the country and referred to extension of 50 kilometre jurisdiction to BSF in Punjab, saying this is reflection on the capability of the Punjab Police. Such decisions could have been averted, he said and feared Nagaland like situation in the border neighbouring State.
Earlier, the Central Zone adopted five resolutions seeking restoration of Article 370 and Article 35A besides Statehood to Jammu and Kashmir, effective measures to curb inflation and rising prices, jobs to unemployed, repeal of decision with regard to Durbar Move and providing respite to farmers.
Prominent among those who addressed the Zonal Convention, besides Zonal President Babu Ram Pal, included NC Additional General Secretary, Dr Sheikh Mustafa Kamal, Provincial President Rattan Lal Gupta, former minister Ajay Kumar Sadhotra, former MP Sharief ud Din Shariq, Mushtaq Bukhari, Mubarak Gul, Sheikh Bashir Ahmed, Brij Mohan Sharma and Surinder Singh Bunty.