Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday lashed out at Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for "playing petty politics" over revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), saying the issue became casualty of the opposition party's "partisan" politics.
"PDP was playing petty politics over AFSPA. Not only did PDP remain silent on AFSPA revocation during their stint in the state, they also failed to support our efforts and demand for the revocation of the act while they have been in the opposition," Omar said, addressing party workers in Beerwah assembly constituency in Central Kashmir.
Omar, the National Conference (NC) working president, kick-started his election campaign from Beerwah, one of the two constituencies, where from he is fighting the elections.
Omar said PDP chose to remain completely mum on the issue when they were in power from 2002 to 2008 and started issuing press statements on the issue only when the party was sent to the opposition benches.
"Our record on efforts for AFSPA revocation is self-evident and forthright. As soon as I became the chief minister, I asked not only for a political solution for the political problem in the state but also unambiguously sought the revocation of AFSPA in the presence of then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
"I spoke on the floor of the Assembly demanding the revocation of AFSPA and NC has never modified or altered its stand on such sensitive issue. Show me one record, one instance when PDP demanded the revocation of AFSPA while they were in power."
"Tragically, even grief and suffering is measured in terms of political expediency by PDP and its leaders," he said, adding PDP's role in tactically choosing to not support efforts for AFSPA revocation was in stark contrast to the surprising posturing of the party and its leaders.
Omar said PDP patron and former chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's "healing touch" policy "started and ended on a tragic note with targeted killings of militant commanders under his political leadership".