Omar Urges Mirwaiz To Declare Jihad29 December 2011
Srinagar: The chief minister, Omar Abdullah, Thursday hurled a taunt on the opposition Peoples Democratic Party saying it spoke in three different tones at as many places on the revocation of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act. “While in Srinagar, the party talks in favor of revocation of this Act, in Jammu its leaders keep mum about the law and in Delhi, they make its revocation subservient to the consent of the Army,” Omar told a public gathering in Shadipora in the North Kashmir, after inaugurating a bridge over river Jhelum. “People are wise enough to understand the designs behind PDP’s double speak as they have experienced this characteristic of the party since its entry into politics. There (PDP’s) only aim is to grab power by hook and crook,” he claimed. The chief minister asserted that his government was committed to revoke the Act from the state. “It is a top priority of our government,” he said, adding there would be no letup in his efforts to gradually see-off the laws like AFSPA from the state which have served their purpose, to make people relish the fruits of peace. Omar welcomed the statement of Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, for taking up public issues and asking consumers to pay electricity dues regularly. “But he should urge ulema to tell people that electricity theft is a sin,” he said, adding the Mirwaiz should declare jihad against power theft. “I was impatiently looking forward to the day when the separatist leader, Mirwaiz, would speak the same language as we do,” he said. Omar said the key power sector had suffered neglect over the years because of which the crisis had come up. “In my capacity as the minister in charge power, it is my duty to set the important sector right,” he declared, adding that in the next few years the state would not only be able to meet its domestic energy needs but would also export it to other regions. Asserting that his government would soon take back the Salal and Uri projects from the NHPC, the chief minister said he would approach the centre and also request the prime minister to provide enough electricity to the state in winter. Co-relating development with availability of electricity, the chief minister said in a state like Jammu and Kashmir, economic growth and holistic progress directly depended on a self-reliant power sector. “Unless we are self-sufficient in the generation of electricity, we cannot make necessary dent in the industrial development and promotion of other economically important sectors”, he said, adding that the government had to bear over Rs 2,000 crore losses on the supply of electricity to consumers per annum. “This grim scenario largely affects the development and puts hurdles in the process of generating employment for youth”, he added. The chief minister talked tough against the vested interests trying to create Shia-Sunni rift in some areas of Kashmir. “Some vested interest groups are trying to create Shia-Sunni rift. But government is aware of the situation and will deal strictly with them with the cooperation of people,” he warned. The chief minister said that Dr Farooq Abdullah had laid the foundation stone of the bridge 13 years ago to connect the people of two districts of Bandipora and Ganderbal. “But in 2002, the work was stopped by the then government for political reasons,” he said. Omar said immediately after he took over the government after being elected from Ganderbal and the speaker, Muhammad Akbar Lone, from Sonawari constituency, it was ensured that the work was resumed and completed early. The 220 meter long bridge has been completed at a cost of Rs 15.85 crore. The speaker, Muhammad Akbar Lone, Law minister, Ali Muhammad Sagar, and ministers of state, Javed Ahmed Dar and Nasir Alsam Wani, besides several politicians and officials were present on the occasion.