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Omar's words have international consequences: Mehbooba

india Updated: Oct 09, 2010 16:48 IST
Arun Joshi
Arun Joshi
Hindustan Times
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PDP president Mehbooba Mufti wants Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to prove his commitment to the words that he spoke in the legislative assembly by setting free all the youth and leaders jailed during the past four months on charges of “anti-national activities.”

“If Omar is really serious about what he said, then he should release all the prisoners booked for anti-national activities because they were saying all what Chief Minister said in the Assembly” Mehboobba Mufti told Hindustan Times in a telephonic interview.

Otherwise, she said, it all sounded like a “rhetoric”.

“Today he has the objection to Kashmir being an integral part of, while his father (Farooq Abdullah) swears by the finality of the accession, I really don’t know which part of the NC is true. I won’t be surprised if Farooq Abdullah tomorrow would say something opposite to what his son stated in the Assembly,” the PDP chief said

She felt that now it appears that he has accepted (hardline separatist leader) Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s condition of declaring Kashmir as an “international dispute.” She said that this has “international consequences".

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah in a speech in the House on Wednesday said, Jammu and Kashmir had acceded, not merged with India and he had also called for a dialogue and settlement of the issue which would be acceptable to “neighbouring country“ ( Pakistan) as well.

Many observers had read this speech as a bid by Omar to move ahead of rival PDP in Kashmir politics, where he had been facing a flak for his “disconnect” with the people and “mishandling of the situation” that left 110 people dead and many others wounded and the Valley caught in a cycle of shutdowns and curfews.

PDP was the first to raise the issue of involving into the dialogue process since its inception in 1999 and had pushed for an unconditional dialogue between separatists and the Centre.

Mehbooba said that her party had been consistent in its approach and attitude in power and now when it is in opposition. “There was an atmosphere of conciliation and we took the measures, like dismantling of POTA and troops withdrawal without making those as national issue. We stand by our people and want a lasting resolution to crisis. That is our stated position"

“I think Omar is in habit of shifting blames, first he blamed for funding the trouble, and one day he blames separatists and the other day he accused us of being behind the trouble and, on Wednesday he absolved us by saying that PDP didn’t have guts,” Mehbooba said.

“The fact of the matter is that he has lost all control and has brought the people and security forces in direct confrontation and put maximum restrictions on the people by imposing brutal curfew,” she said.

Mehbooba who stole lime light at the national level at an all party meeting convened by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on September 15 by highlighting the pain and suffering of the people in Kashmir, however, justified her party’s boycott of the Assembly session. “The session was called because it was a constitutional obligation, how could we be part of it when the people are suffering restrictions and deprivations.”