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Farooq Abdullah Vs Abdul Gani Lone

Former chief minister and National Conference president Dr Farooq Abdullah, on Sunday, made a frontal attack on Sajjad Lone, the Peoples’ Conference chairman accusing him that it was his father Abdul Gani Lone (late) who brought gun to Kashmir. Addressing a gathering at Dewan Bagh Baramulla said “I know when his (Sajjad’s) father (Abdul Gani Lone) told me that he will go Pakistan and will pick up a gun”. “I know Sajad Lone blames on me and my party, but I won’t say anything. Otherwise, I know when his father told me that he will go Pakistan and will pick up a gun, I pleaded before him that don’t bring a gun to Kashmir. I told him it will take the lives of our youngsters and honour of our daughters. When he returned back he accepted it was his mistake”, Farooq Abdullah told the gathering. The NC president’s assertions are not altogether misplaced. Abdul Gani Lone had been a staunch advocate of the “azadi” of Jammu and Kashmir. He was one of the founding leaders of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference. In the initial days of militancy every political leader in the pro freedom camp had direct or indirect association with one or the other militant group. Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Molvi Abbas Ansari, Professor Abdul Gani Bhat had close association with militant groups of their choice. Abdul Gani Lone was not an exception. Sajjad himself was arrested along with a group of armed militants from a hideout in Srinagar which established his personal association with militancy. But in the context that prevailed then, it was not a vice but a virtue for leaders to be associated with militant groups. In the early 90s when militancy erupted as an alternative to the political resistance going on actively or passively since the surrender of Shiekh Mohammad Abdullah in 1975. In fact, Dr Farooq Abdullah is the first person who opposed his father Shikeh Abdullah’s Accord with Indira Gandhi. In 1974, when the senior Abdullah was negotiating with Indira Gandhi his return to power, Farooq Abdullah visited Pakistan and held meetings with JKLF leaders Maqbool Bhat and Amanulah Khan and took oath of allegiance with Maqbool Butt promising to work for ‘liberation of Kashmir from India’. On his return from Pakistan, he held a massive rally in Lal Chowk which was also addressed by two youth from Mirpur (PAK) also. The rally was viewed as Farooq Abdullah’s rebellion against his father’s compromise with New Delhi. But a decade later, Farooq Abdullah, who had assumed power after the death of his father in 1982, signed death warrant of Maqbool Butt who hanged in Tihar jail on February 11, 1984.Shiekh Mohammad Abdullah himself was leading a separatist movement in the name of Plebiscite Front for 22 years which his aide then described as “political wilderness”. The problem with the political leadership of Kashmir is that they remember the faults and weaknesses of other people only. They never look inwards. Before putting blame on others, if Farooq Abdullah takes a keen look on his actions, he will definitely find himself where he finds others now. He would think hundred times before calling names to others in the name of the gun. Only recently, Farooq Abdullah called militants as the ‘boys who fight for azadi”. On another occasion he asked Hurriyat Conference to remain steadfast in their demand for “azadi”, and promised them support. “I ask these Hurriyat leaders to unite. We are standing by your side at this hour. Don’t think of us as your adversaries. We are not your adversaries. Don’t stay behind in this struggle of Kashmir”. We have struggled before and wasted our whole life on this (Kashmir issue). I am telling you from this sacred place: Move ahead, we are with you until you keep treading the right path. And until you can guide this nation on the right path.” He said during a function called on 111th birth anniversary of his father. To single out Abdul Gani Lone is nothing but hypocrisy.