NC Leaders Rally Behind Omar20 August 2010
Srinagar: With no let up in civilian killings, Omar Abdullah-led coalition government is faced with a situation which might have started with stone-pelting but has emerged as a bigger challenge for the government than perhaps even the armed uprising of 1990s. While the chief minister finds himself under relentless pressure, rumours of his resignation are also making rounds. His party leaders, however, rally behind him, some even putting the onus on New Delhi for the deteriorating situation in the valley. Senior NC leader and MP from South Kashmir, Mehboob Beg said, “It is high time that Government of India addresses the disease rather than the symptoms. New Delhi should cash in on the present situation in Kashmir and resolve the issue once for all.” “GoI is also lethargic. It has not even provided non-lethal weapons to the troopers,” he told Rising Kashmir from New Delhi over phone. Calling for concrete steps to resolve Kashmir, the NC leader said, “It is high time to act as we have seen committees formed and nothing happening on ground.” About the rumours of Omar’s resignation, Beg said, “I personally believe the chief minister’s resignation will dilute the focus on main issue. If Omar sahib resigns, what next? Another ruler would come or Governor’s rule would be imposed. Senior NC leader and MLA Handwara, Chowdhary Muhammad Ramzan said, “Will anger stop if Omar sahib resigns? What is the guarantee that next ruler would ensure peace?” “The main issue is Kashmir which needs to be resolved. We have been witnessing protests across Kashmir but nobody has protested against the state government,” Ramzan said, adding that Omar still enjoys the credibility given the fact that he came to power after “free and fair elections” in 2008. “Even Pakistan admitted that JK was having an elected government,” he added. Ramzan said GoI should move forward on Kashmir resolution and resolve the issue once for all. Another senior NC leader, wishing anonymity, said NC was facing a tough challenge. “Kashmir has witnessed chaotic situation ample times since last 60 years, but given the anger among the youth the situation has really turned out to be a big challenge,” he said. “Omar sahib has left no stone unturned to ensure peace, but it seems that anger refused to die down,” he added. He was quick to add that the resentment among the youth was not against the state government but against GoI. Pertinently, the worrisome factor for NC is that Srinagar, where party secured all the eight seats, has been at the forefront of the protests. “Srinagar gave us government but now it is seemingly against us and so are the villages,” an NC insider said, pleading anonymity. Political observers believe that the state government and New Delhi is facing the worst-ever crisis over the past 60 years in Kashmir. “There is no gun but stone throwing has emerged a bigger challenge than what gun did in 1990,” they said. “It is also a testing time for GoI. If it continues with its old habit of buying time, it will have to face a bigger challenge in near future,” they added.