Our fight is to save our identity, not form government: Omar

Srinagar: Sounding a bugle for a long-drawn battle against the Centre, National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah on Thursday said the time for power-politics is over and all political parties have come together to fight for the restoration of Article 370.

 “Due to the conspiracy of the centre, we were forced to come on a single platform. We won’t engage in petty political fights right now. We cannot talk about forming the government now as people are looking at us to know if they will save our land and identity… It is not going to last for weeks or months but we will fight. If we lose this fight, we will remain nowhere….hope we see victory in our lifetime,” Omar said while addressing party workers here at ‘Nawa-i-Subah’ office.

He said if the regional parties had come together earlier, New Delhi would not have been successful in its designs.

“That time we were walking separate path – PDP was separate, CPI-M was separate. Congress was separate….maybe there are separate now too. I am not looking at five seats of Budgam or other seats. This is not a fight for power. It is not a fight for CM. Woe to us if we still run after power. People will never forgive us if our eyes remain on entering the Secretariat and grab a seat there. Our fight is to save our identity and our future,” he said.

“Delhi-wallas left no stone unturned to divide us. If we had united a year before, this would not have happened. Centre time and gain tried to divide us….we got divided and their conspiracy got successful,” he added

Six regional parties had recently announced the formation of ‘Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration’ to jointly fight for restoration of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status as the erstwhile state got bifurcated into two union territories after the abrogation of Article 370 last year. However, Congress did not attend the two meetings of the amalgam.

Omar questioned why those seeking protection of their land and other rights were not labeled anti-national.

“Stronger laws are elsewhere too….in Himachal, Lakshadweep, Nagaland, Sikkim, and in so many other states. A citizen of this country cannot buy land….don’t know what is the fault of people here. When we raise our voice, we are labeled anti-national. But, we are talking about what was given to us by this constitution,” he said.

Taking a dig at the BJP, he said rules related to J&K’s special status had been introduced by Maharaja Hari Singh only.

“The laws that were abolished had been introduced by Maharaja. They (BJP) bowed before his statue recently and now they call us anti-national. They talk to Naga leaders who say they do not accept the Indian sovereignty and constitution. I don’t see their names on TV channels that they are anti-national,” said Omar.

“If we had to do rebellion against the country, then our worker Maqbool Sherwani would not have played the role (of halting the invasion of Kabailis in 1947). Why weigh us on different scales? What do you want us to do? Do you want us to leave mainstream? Somebody make me understand, where it is written that striving for your rights within the ambit of the constitution is anti-national,” he added.

He also reminded the BJP of late prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s commitment to resolving the Kashmir issue under the ambit of ‘insaniyat, jamhooriyat and Kashmiriyat’.

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