Srinagar, Jan 31: As old and new political parties prepare for a face-off in the assembly elections, Senior National Conference leader Omar Abdullah on Thursday vowed to revoke controversial Public Safety Act (PSA), if his party was voted to power.
Addressing NC’s workers’ convention in south Kashmir’s Pulwama, Omar Abdullah said the party will work vehemently towards the welfare of the state and the big relief will come as a revocation of PSA if voted to power.
“The revocation of armed forces special powers act (APSPA) is not possible without Centre’s consent but we can definitely do something about the illegal state laws,” Omar said.
He stressed, “I assure you that our party will remove the roots of distress caused by this draconian law. Once in power, the law will be abolished without a second thought.”
The NC leader said that Kashmir needed a strong, stable and decisive government. and asserted that weak coalitions would be bad for the valley.“We have seen several weak coalitions in the past. Take for instance, PDP-BJP alliance. Unlike her father, Mehbooba ji could only survive for two years,” he said.
He accused the previous regimes of delivering “weak governance” who constantly sought support from other parties.
“Late Mufti (Muhammad Sayeed) was there (CM) courtesy (Ghulam Nabi) Azad and Azad’s Chief ministership was possible because of Mufti. And I remained in power for six years because of Congress support,” Omar said.
“We want to establish a government without anyone’s help. Our aim is to form a government that doles to the all the sections of society,” he said.
He added, “A government is formed to giving a healing touch to the wounds of masses, and alleviate their pain rather than adding to their woes.”
Referring to the recent bids of Mehbooba Mufti of capturing the lost landscape of Kashmir by shedding crocodile tears, he said, “ During our stint in government from 2009-2014, we worked towards reconciliation and lessening the foot-print of security forces. However what good was achieved during NC led Government was put into an abyss by the former BJP-PDP led government.”
Omar said that Mehbooba’s supplication for releasing prisoners is too late an effort to move people. “People have seen it all with their eyes as to who opened the flood gates for all those forces as are contriving hard to destroy the state,” he said.
“Now a days Mehbooba ji is pushing for the release of political prisoners and other political activists. Given the fact she was the one in whose tenure as chief ministership youth were hounded; crackdowns, and CASOs were unleashed on people. No one can deny the fact that it was during her tenure that saw a steep rise among the young educated youth joining militancy,” he said.
Omar said that people still remember how bare facedly Mehbooba Mufti had said that the guns of CRPF and other Para military forces ‘aren’t for mere display but action’. “Now the same lady has the gumption to ask for release of prisoners in whose tenure they were arrested,” adding that it is the same
Mehbooba Mufti who presided over scores of bindings, maiming and civilian killings during her tenure.
“People remember the way she mocked the pain and agony of people with her toffee and milk remarks,” he said.
Omar said that his government had the sincerity of thought and a commitment towards service that helped him to serve people for six years. “If we had worked like Mehbooba Mufti did, we couldn’t have completed our full tenure,” he said.“Her own brazen assertions wherein she said that she tied up with BJP to save her party from disintegration, is reflective of her political bankruptcy and disrespect for the people of state especially Kashmir, which continued to suffer under her rule,” he said.
While referring to the sleuth of people friendly schemes of his government including SKEWPY scheme for youth, Omar said that the former BJP-PDP government failed to rise up to the expectations of youth and pushed them to wall.
Omar maintained that south Kashmir has been worst affected due to the imprudent policies of former BJP-PDP led government. “The landscape of south Kashmir is presenting a charred look. There is no house that isn’t weeping on the loss of its loved ones,” he said the developmental scenario of south Kashmir also reveals a grimy tale of neglect.
Omar maintained that National Conference has the sincerity of thought and the political will to pull the state out of morass, death and destruction to peace and harmony. “I wasn’t expecting such a turn-out of people here in Pulwama, but the way you have turned up has increased my absolve to serve you,” he said adding that south Kashmir in particular has to take a stride in the direction of giving the state a strong mandated government by giving NC a strong mandate to peruse the agenda of peace, prosperity and reconciliation.
NC responsible for imposing PSA, AFSPA, POTA: PDP
Srinagar, Jan 31: Reacting to Omar Abdullah, the PDP and People’s Conference lead by Sajad lone claimed that NC was responsible for imposing black laws in the state.
Reacting to his statement, the PDP in a tweet said, “A party that convinced the idea and acts like PSA, POTA, AFSPA to muzzle the dissent voices, rigged elections in 1987, booked elected people in jails and declared them militants are now asking for majority to revoke PSA. Illogical! @OmarAbdullah @JKNC.
Similarly, Sajad Lone said in a statement, “Omar Abdullah says will repeal PSA if Nc elected with majority. This Act was introduced by Sheikh sahib in 1975. Initially meant for timber smugglers. Was misused. From 1975 to 1989 NC was in power. NC introduced it misused it and now wants votes to repeal it. 1st generation Sheikh sahib :-PSA introduced by NC 2nd generation Dr Farooq sahib :-POTA introduced to state by NC) 3r generation Omar Abdullah:-jurisdiction of NIA extended to j and k by NC.”
Lethpora attack: UN urges India, Pak to defuse tensions
Geneva, Feb 20: UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday called on India and Pakistan to exercise “maximum restraint” and offered to mediate in the face of rising tensions following the attack at Lethpora in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir that claimed the lives of 49 CRPF troopers.
Guterres, through a spokesman, said that the UN is deeply concerned about the situation while offering to mediate if the two parties request it.
The head of the UN received on Wednesday the Pakistani ambassador, Maleeha Lodhi, whose government has asked the organization to intervene in the current crisis, Efe reported.
For now, Guterres calls on both sides to “exercise maximum restraint and take immediate steps” to defuse the tension, spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters.
The historic tensions between the two nuclear nations skyrocketed in recent days after New Delhi accused Islamabad of supporting the militant group that killed 49 CRPF troopers in a suicide bombing with a vehicle loaded with explosives on February 14, the deadliest attack in the region in 30 years.
In addition, nine people, including four army soldiers, a cop, and a civilian were killed in a gunfight again in Pulwama on February 18.
Rupert Colville, Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR), said the UN was also saddened by the further loss of life reported from the gun battles in Pulwama on February 18.
“We hope escalating tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbours will not add further to the insecurity in the region” he said.
Colville said the High Commissioner, Michelle Bachelet, is also concerned about reports from India that some elements are using the Pulwama attack as justification for threats and potential acts of violence targeting Kashmiri and Muslim communities living in different parts of India.
“We acknowledge actions taken by the Indian authorities to tackle these incidents and we hope that the Government will continue to take steps to protect people from all forms of harm that may be directed at them on account of their ethnicity or identity,” he stressed.
Following the February 14 attack, India announced that it will take all possible diplomatic measures to isolate Pakistan from the international community.
UN asks additional escorts for military observers:
After one of its vehicles was stopped by a group of protesters in Jammu, the UN has asked the Indian government for additional escorts for its military observers in Kashmir.
“The observer group reported on February 16 that a UN vehicle in the city of Jammu was surrounded by a group of protesters who placed a Pakistan flag in front of the vehicle. The vehicle attempted to bypass the flag but was unable to do so,” Dujarric told the media on Tuesday.
He said the circumstances of the incident was “regrettable and unavoidable” and that the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) had informed the governments of both countries.
“The Mission also requested India to provide additional escorts and will be conducting an investigation,” he added.
The 44-member UNMOGIP, now led by Uruguayan Major General Jose Eladio Alcain, began operations in 1949 to monitor the ceasefire in Kashmir following up a Security Council resolution the previous year.
India maintains that UNMOGIP has become redundant because under the Shimla Agreement of 1972 between Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Pakistan’s then-President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto the Kashmir dispute is a bilateral issue with no role for third parties. (With IANS inputs)
Govt downgrades, withdraws ‘security’ of 18 separatists, 155 others
Jammu, Feb. 20: In a major step on Wednesday, the Government of Jammu & Kashmir downgraded and withdrew the security of 18 Hurriyat leaders in the state.
According to the spokesperson of Home Department, it was felt that providing security to these separatist leaders is “wastage of scarce state resources which could be better utilised elsewhere”.
“Among the leaders whose security has been downgraded and withdrawn are SAS Geelani, Aga Syed Mosvi, Maulvi Abbas Ansari, Yaseen Malik, Saleem Geelani, Shahid ul Islam, Zaffar Akbar Bhat, Nayeem Ahmed Khan, Mukhtar Ahmad Waza, Farooq Ahmed Kichloo, Masroor Abbas Ansari, Aga Syed Abul Hussain, Abdul Gani Shah and Mohd Musadiq Bhat,” a government handout said.
This is in addition the 4 persons whose security was withdrawn on Sunday.
In addition, the handout said the security of 155 political persons and activists, who did not require the security provided to them based on their threat assessment and their activities, was also withdrawn. This includes Shah Faesal, who resigned from the IAS and PDP member Waheed Parra.
“Through this, over 1000 police personnel and over 100 vehicles are freed to do regular police work,” the handout said.
Reservation to EWS: Guv welcomes central law’s extension to JK
Jammu, Feb 20: Governor Satya Pal Malik has welcomed the decision of the Union Cabinet regarding giving reservations in admission in educational institutions, for appointments and posts in favour of economically weaker sections of the citizens and giving benefit of promotion in service to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.
“The reservation to the economically weaker sections of the citizens will be in addition to existing reservation and subject to maximum of 10 percent of totals seats/posts,” a Raj Bhavan spokesperson said.
It is pertinent to mention that the Constitution (Seventy Seventh Amendment) Act, 1995 provides for giving benefit of promotion in service to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes and the Constitution (One Hundred and Third Amendment) Act, 2019 provides for giving reservations in admission in educational institutions and for appointments and posts in favour of economically weaker sections of the citizens.
“Both these amendments in the Constitution of India were not applicable to the State of Jammu and Kashmir in the present form. The Union Cabinet’s approval to the extension of these amendments will enable providing of 10 % reservation in admission in educational institutions and for appointments and posts in favour of the economically weaker sections of the citizens,” the spokesperson said.
He added that the move will also give powers to the State for making provisions for reservation in the matters of promotion to any class or classes of posts in the services under the State in favour of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.
Governor, the spokesperson added, has described these decisions as having far reaching consequences in helping to ameliorate the lot of the weaker sections of society and in ensuring their economic progress and prosperity.
SAC to meet tomorrow
Srinagar, Feb 20: The J&K State Administrative Council (SAC) will meet under the chairmanship of Governor Satya Pal Malik at Raj Bhavan Jammu on 22 February.
This is likely going to be last SAC meeting before Model Code of Conduct (MCC) for General Elections-2019 comes into force.
Why PM silent on Kashmiri students being targeted: Omar
Srinagar, February 21: NC leader Omar Abdullah on Thursday said why was the Prime Minister silent on Kashmiri students being...
India ‘to choke’ Pakistan’s water supply in light of Pulwama: Nitin Gadkari
New Delhi: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, on Thursday, threatened that India would ‘choke’ the water supply to Pakistan in light...
Attack on Kashmiris: Lal Chowk, adjacent areas to remain shut from Friday afternoon
Srinagar, February 21 : The Valley traders Thursday decided to observe complete shutdown in Lal Chowk and adjoining areas from...
Guzlar Dar takes charge as Dir Information
Srinagar, Feb 21 : Gulzar Ahmad Dar Thursday assumed office as Director Information and PR relieving Tariq Ahmad Zargar of...
CRPF, other forces can now take commercial flights to Kashmir: Centre
New Delhi, February 21: Troops of the CRPF and other paramilitary forces deployed in the Kashmir Valley will now be...
IVR Institute takes action against 3 Kashmiri girls for ‘adverse remarks’ against Army
Bareilly (UP), February 21: The Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) here has taken action against three Kashmiri girls for allegedly...
5 held for assault on Kashmiri trader in West Bengal
Kolkata, Feb 21: Five persons have been arrested for assaulting a Kashmiri shawl trader in West Bengal’s Nadia district, police...
69 killed as massive fire breaks out in chemical warehouses in Bangladesh capital
Dhaka: At least 69 people were killed as a massive fire ripped through several buildings also used as chemical and...
SC to hear tomorrow plea for protection of Kashmiris from threats after Pulwama Attack
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has agreed to hear on Friday a PIL seeking a direction to authorities to protect...
We want Kashmir, But Not Kashmiris: Chidambaram points out the ‘Depressing Irony’
New Delhi: Some people want Kashmir to be part of India but don’t want Kashmiris to be part of Indians,...
Fresh snowfall, landslides shut Srinagar-Jammu highway
Srinagar: Fresh snowfall in the Banihal area and multiple landslides in the Ramsoo-Ramban sector blocked the Jammu-Srinagar highway, prompting halt...