Geelani Claims ‘victory’ In Omar’s Speech7 October 2010
The Indian Express
Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s comments in the Assembly that Kashmir was an “outstanding dispute” has the separatists rejoicing. Omar’s “admission”, they claim, is a “victory” of their stand on Kashmir. “The speech given by Omar Abdullah in the Assembly is a victory of the Hurriyat’s stand on Kashmir,” Hurriyat chief Syed Ali Shah Geelani said Thursday. “Kashmir being a disputed territory and its illegitimate military occupation by India is such a big reality that willingly or unwillingly Omar Abdullah had to accept it.” Speaking in the Assembly on Wednesday, Omar questioned Jammu and Kashmir’s accession to India, saying it was “temporary and conditional”. “Jammu and Kashmir is an outstanding issue between India and Pakistan with international recognition,”Omar said. “We have acceded to India under certain agreements and unlike Hyderabad and Junagarh we haven’t merged with India.” Omar’s questioning of the accession with India, Geelani said, “is realism”. He, however, accused the Chief Minister of “hiding other realities”. “Omar Abdullah’s terming of accession as temporary and conditional is a truth,” he said. “But by not highlighting the realities and conditions associated with accession, he has revealed only half of the truth. Omar Abdullah should have talked about the struggle of the past six decades of which even his party (the National Conference) was once a part. We are taking forward the struggle that was once identified as ‘Mahaz-e-Raishumari’ (Plebiscite Front).” Mahaz-e-Raishumari was launched by Omar’s grandfather and Jammu and Kashmir’s first prime minister Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah. Geelani also said that if Omar is sincere in his comments, he should shun the chair.” If Omar Abdullah feels that the promises made to his people have been broken, he should ask his conscience if (by being Chief Minister) he is not becoming a hurdle to highlight the Kashmir issue,” he said. But that won’t be, Geelani hinted, for the Chief Minister’s sincerity is doubtful. Had Omar’s speech come “truly from his heart”, then he would have been “part of the freedom struggle and raised his voice against the atrocities meted out to his people”, he said. The “blood-soaked struggle” of Kashmiris, Geelani said, is an outcome of the broken promises that were made to them by India. The Hurriyat leader lashed out at the “fascist” BJP for its stand on Kashmir. “BJP is a party of fanatics, who are not in a position to face reality,” he said. “These people believe in fascism and hooliganism”.