Reminiscent to its old heydays, the opposition National Conference (NC) on Tuesday, looked in its full form when hundreds of its cadres, functionaries and leaders, braving a severe wave of cold and chill, gathered in capital Srinagar to pay homage to its founder leader Shaikh Mohammad Abdullah, popularly known as Sher-e-Kashmir on the late leaders 101st birthday.
Raising slogans, the NC activists were seen making beeline towards the Hazratbal graveyard of their leader right from early morning, where they held special prayers. The party patriarch and former chief minister Dr Farooq Abdullah, president Omer Abdullah and dozens of other senior leaders gathered on the late leader's grave to pay homage.
Addressing the NC cadres, Dr Farooq Abdullah insisted on resolving the issue of Kashmir without brooking any further delay. "It is ripe time to resolve the issue of Kashmir. Pakistani foreign minister told me in New Delhi that his country wanted such a solution of Kashmir issue as would be acceptable to India, Pakistan as well as people of Kashmir", Farooq told the audience. "If its resolution is further delayed it will complicate the problem more and the demand of Kashmir people would also increase", he warned.
Dr Abdullah described Pakistan's "flexibility" on Kashmir as "admission of its (Pakistan's) follies on Kashmir". "Now the aspirations of Kashmiri people should not be overlooked", he said.
The National Conference held another grand function at Children's Park in the uptown area of Srinagar. The park named as "Gulshan-e-Atfaal" (garden for children) has been spent to develop the park. National Conference President, Omer Abdullah, who is also Member of Parliament, has provided the whole amount from his constituency development fund. He dedicated the park to the children on Tuesday, amid thunderous applause by his supporters.
Omer chose the occasion to take on hard-line Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani for his criticism of late Shaikh Mohmmad Abdullah. Geelani, on Monday, had accused the late leader of "betraying the people of Kashmir by making compromises in his days as leader and ruler". Omer on Tuesday hit back on the Jamaat leader and alleged that when Shaikh Mohammad Abdullah was lodged in jail for his "pro freedom" ideas, these people (Geelani) were taking part in elections to sabotage the movement. Omer reminded the jamaat leader that he (omer) had respect for him (Geelani). "but he (Geelani) should not indulge in false accusations against Sher-e-Kashmir).
The National Conference held several functions at all the district headquarters where late leader was praised for the reforms he brought in political, education and economic fields in the state.