NC Stands For Kashmir's Conditional Accession

3 September 2009
Greater Kashmir
Javaid Malik

Srinagar: Senior National Conference leader and the Member of Legislative Assembly from Hazratbal, Dr Sheikh Mustafa Kamal, on Thursday said his party stood for “conditional accession” of Jammu and Kashmir with India. “NC’s stand on JK’s accession with India is clear. We’ve always maintained that the accession was never final, it was conditional,” Kamal told Greater Kashmir after attending a meeting of the NC workers convened to finalize the arrangement for observing Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah’s death anniversary. Kamal, who is the younger brother of party patron and union minister for New and Renewable Energy Resources, Dr Farooq Abdullah, and uncle of the chief minister, Omar Abdullah, claimed that his father, late Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, always wanted an independent status for Jammu and Kashmir. “My father always wanted Kashmir to be independent as it was never a part of the British empire. History stands testimony to the fact that after India and Pakistan attained freedom in 1947, he wanted the people of Jammu and Kashmir to be allowed to decide their future,” Kamal said. Blaming Pakistan for the Kashmir mess, Kamal said, “Pakistan complicated the issue by pushing tribals into Jammu and Kashmir in October 1947. After they raided the state, Maharaja Hari Singh got an excuse to seek help from Delhi. It was only after the Maharaja sought Delhi’s help that the Indian troops landed in Kashmir.” Kamal accused Pakistan of sabotaging the Kashmir cause. “Pakistan pushed Kashmir into India’s lap. Had they exercised restraint in 1947, Kashmiris would have easily got a chance to decide whether they wanted to be with Pakistan or India or remain independent.” Addressing the meeting, the Law and Parliamentary Affairs minister, Ali Muhammad Sagar, said “It was due to Sheikh Sahab that Jammu and Kashmir is enjoying a special status under Article 370.” Sagar said there were “some elements” working against the special status enjoyed by the state. “Nobody can deprive the Jammu and Kashmir of the special status,” he added. The finance minister, Abdur Rahim Rather said, “Sheikh Abdullah had championed the cause of plebiscite. I have read the autobiographies of almost every tall leader. But I didn’t find his match,” he added. NC general secretary, Sheikh Nazir, said, “Sheikh Sahab gave us judicial freedom, freedom of speech and freedom of knowledge.” He said it was due to the “callous approach” of New Delhi towards Kashmir that the people were suffering. “Kashmir is a political issue and needs a political solution. No readymade solution can be forced on the people,” he added.