J&K’s Accession Final, Irrevocable: Soz
J&K’s Accession Final, Irrevocable: Soz
22 October 2013
: Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) president Prof Saif-ud-Din Soz Monday reiterated that “J&K acceded to India finally and irrevocably in contrast to the theory of the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah that it (J&K) had not merged with the Indian Union.” In the same breath, Soz asserted that his word was final on this account and not that of Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram if the latter ever supported Omar on this issue. “I’ve never accepted his (Omar’s) theory that we’ve not merged. We’re an integral part of India. We’ve acceded finally and irrevocably,” JKPCC president said. But even the Union Finance Minister and former Union Home Minister P Chidambaram backed Omar on this count and did not find anything wrong with his statement, was the counter-query and Soz’s answer was, “He (Chidambaram) never supported, if he ever supported, that’s not a dictum for me. He’s (Chidambaram’s) not somebody whose word is final. My word is final because we’ve acceded to India finally and irrevocably.” JKPCC president stated this when asked about internal contradictions within Congress about his (Soz’s) reiteration in the function that J&K is an integral part of India, a position contested by the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah with the backing of many central Congress leaders in the recent past. Soz was talking to media after presiding over a function organised outside PCC headquarters to welcome eight new entrants, including former bureaucrats, legislators from NC, PDP, into Congress fold. Omar has time and again described J&K’s accession to India conditional and not absolute and he has been backed by many central Congress leaders including the former Union Home Minister and present Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram on this count. Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram, when he was the Union Home Minister, had defended Omar even in Rajya Sabha after the latter contested J&K’s accession to Indian Union in his address to the J&K Legislative Assembly in 2010. Omar reiterated his statement a number of times after Chidambaram and other central Congress ministers including former Foreign Minister S M Krishna found nothing wrong with his (Omar’s) statement. ARE PARTNERS FOLLOWING 'TIT FOR TAT’ POLICY BY LURING EACH OTHER’S LEADERS? Was the joining of NC president’s former political advisor Congress’ answer to NC, which earlier this year lured its (Congress’) former district president Ishfaq Jabbar. Confronted with this query, Soz said, “No, no. Jabbar is not that a bigger leader as compared to Aslam Goni. What is Ishfaq Jabbar? People, who play “Jaalsaazi Ki Siyasat” (politics of trickery), they’ll learn through democratic process. I’m an open person.” Responding to a question as who would be the next target after luring Goni into Congress fold, he stated that Congress did not lure Goni, a close associate of Dr Farooq Abdullah to its fold, using trickery. “No he came to us, shared his views and expressed desire to join Congress. We wholeheartedly accepted it. Pakad Kay Nahin Laaya (We didn’t coerce him),” he added. He said that he did not view Goni’s joining, from the perspective of 'a giant killing.’ “He’s an educated person. He’s a vibrant political force. He was in politics. He had only said that he was feeling suffocated. Now he would breathe fresh air, democracy and security,” Soz added. ON MUSTAFA KAMAL’S TIRADE AGAINST CONGRESS: JKPCC president’s reaction on National Conference’s additional general secretary Dr Mustafa Kamal’s latest rant against Congress, holding it responsible for NC workers’ killings, was cautious yet acerbic. “You see, he (Kamal) keeps talking and in Kashmir nobody takes him seriously. While in Jammu, there’s no question (of taking him seriously),” he said. WILL JOINING OF NC MEMBERS TO CREATE WEDGE BETWEEN ALLIANCE? When asked if the joining of some members from alliance partner National Conference was indicative of ties turning sour between the allies, Soz parried the direct answer stating that there was nothing like that. “Ismein Gadbad Kya Hai (There’s nothing wrong in this). We’re a democratic party. We’re fighting for incorporation of significant provisions of 73rd constitutional amendment in J&K Panchayati Raj Act. We’ve brought another Bill aiming at the welfare of people i.e., Food Security Bill. It will offer a great advantage to society. We’re trying to convince them. They should accept it, adopt it. Ditto is about Land Acquisition Bill, which will give lot of power and relief to people,” was his reply at a tangent. In a related query as whether the joining spree meant Congress would not have truck with PDP or NC in 2014 elections or it won’t have any impact, Soz said his assertion was that Congress was in a vibrant situation in all the three regions and he had already proved that. Indicating that more prominent persons would join Congress soon, he said, “In Kashmir 10 prominent people joined Congress yesterday and an equal number was there which offered to join. But I told them, ‘No.’ I’ve to have Congress party high command on the same page. It may take two to three days.” ON PAK FIRING TRIGGERING MIGRATION FROM BORDER AREAS: Responding to a question pertaining to fresh wave of panic among border residents in the wake of persistent heavy Pak firing on LoC and IB triggering a spate of migration, Soz said that the ceasefire violations and incursions were not to the advantage of Pakistan. “Yesterday I condemned these violations and these incursions and said this was not to the advantage of Pakistan. Therefore there’s a big question whether Nawaz Sharif will allow many centres of power in that country. Terrorists are very much organised in Pakistan and they are a challenge to his authority and the Pak army recently gave a cover to infiltrators. That’s a proved thing and thus the broader question for Nawaz Sharif is- will he allow many centres of power in Pakistan that is detrimental to internal security of his country. India will never accept any bullying tactics, incursions,” he said. He stated that army was giving a befitting reply to Pakistan. “There’s no question of fear. Nobody should have fear. Our borders are safe because army and para military forces are fighting a great battle on the borders,” he added.