Opposition flays passage of autonomy motion
26 June 2000
The Indian Express
Srinagar: Opposition parties in Jammu and Kashmir today described the passage of the motion for greater autonomy in the Assembly as a ''Black Day'' in the history of the state while ruling National Conference expressed jubiliation,reports PTI. ''It is one more gimmick and probably the last one in the kitty of Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah to blackmail the people of the state and the Centre'', Vice-President of Jammu and Kashmir People''s Democratic Party, Mehbooba Mufti, said. Describing the day as ''black day'', Vice-president of the state unit of BJP, Sheikh Abdul Rashid Kabuli, said ''It is out of frustration that NC has passed the motion. It was an attempt to hide its failures.'' NC has done it to sabotage the proposed dialogue between the Centre and the Hurriyat Conference for a peaceful solution of the Kashmir issue, Kabuli, a former MP, said. President of the State unit of Congress, Mohammad Shafi Qureshi, said ''our stand is clear. We feel it is a gimmick of the NC which was never serious over the issue.'' Hurriyat Conference leader, Sheikh Abdul Rashid, said ''autonomy or division is not acceptable to Kashmir. The solution of the Kashmir issue lies in the tripartite talks between India, Pakistan and representatives of Kashmir.'' A jubilant general secretarty of the National Conference, Sheikh Nazir Ahmad, said ''We have fulfilled our promise to the people by passing a resolution for greater autonomy to the state''. He said the party had included the autonomy plank in its election manifesto and the passage of the motion was a fulfilment of the promise.