‘Those Who Contested More Polls Than Sheikh Should Admit Their Mistake’


Srinagar, Dec 5: Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Wednesday said dialogue is the best way to settle issues and “if exchange of ideas is wrong, then entire world is at fault” as major conflicts across the globe are being addressed through parleys. He also hit out at separatists for opposing elections stating that “those who have contested more elections than Sheikh should accept that they have committed a mistake.”
Addressing National Conference (NC) workers at his grandfather Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah’s mausoleum at Hazratbal here, Omar said Sheikh always thought about the welfare of the people.
“If opposing gun and bloodshed is wrong, then Sheikh Sahab was wrong. If advocating dialogue is wrong, then he was wrong,” Omar said.
He laid the wreath on Sheikh’s mausoleum on the eve of his 107th birth anniversary and also offered special prayers.
Chief Minister said “if advocating negotiations was bad then entire world was at fault.” “Major conflicts across the globe were settled through negotiations. Ireland and even the recent conflict between Israel and Palestine too were settled through parleys,” Omar said.
In a veiled reference to Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani, the Chief Minister said those opposing elections should admit that they have committed a mistake. “If contesting polls is wrong, then those who have contested more elections than Sheikh should openly admit that they had committed a mistake,” Omar said.
The Chief Minister praised the Sarpanchs and Panchs for working hard to ensure the victory of coalition. “I am hopeful that we will win all the four seats. The results to be declared tomorrow (Thursday) would be in our favour,” he said.
Omar termed the Panchayat Raj system the brainchild of his grandfather. “Sheikh Sahab had suggested some amendments in the Act that are nowhere in place in other states of India. This mission is not ours. By taking the powers out of the cozy government offices to the ground level is the best way to pay tributes to Sheikh Sahab,” he said.
Omar, however, said the government could not focus on the amendments suggested by Sheikh to streamline Panchayati Raj system following the perpetual strife in Kashmir over the past 22 years.
He said every effort was made to malign the image of Sheikh. “No stone was left unturned to project Sheikh Sahab’s decisions as wrong and to term his policies and vision full of faults. Everything was done to project Sheikh Sahab as what he was not,” Omar said.  He said in majority of the states across India, people are fighting for ownership rights of land. “It was Sheikh Sahab, who gave ownership rights to people (under land to tiller act) a way back,” he said. “There are many states where people continue to be illiterate. In J&K, he (Sheikh Sahab) opened the doors of knowledge by setting up new colleges and universities.”
The Chief Minister said “even our neighboring country (Pakistan)” doesn’t have a medical colleges and universities on the pattern J&K. “My grandfather’s main aim was to make J&K a self-reliant state so that we should be forced to beg before others. The best way to pay homage to him will be to follow his dream of Naya Kashmir,” he said.
Omar said his father Union Minister Farooq Abdullah was busy with the Parliament and had to take part in the discussion and thus could not make it to Srinagar.
Omar, who is also the working president of NC, said “accomplishing the mission of Sheikh Sahab won’t be difficult till the flag with plough sign remains high and NC workers continue to work.”
All senior NC leaders and including, speaker Legislative Assembly, Muhammad Akbar Lone, Minister for Finance, Abdul Rahim Rather, Minister for Rural Development, Ali Muhammad Sagar, Minister for Medical Education, R S Chib, Minister for Higher Education, Abdul Gani Malik, Minister for Social Welfare, Sakina Itoo, Advisors to the Chief Minister, Mubarak Gul and Devender Singh Rana, Minister of State for Home, Nasir Aslam Wani and Minister of State for R&B, Javaid Ahmed Dar besides legislators Dr Mustafa Kamaal and Irfan Shah were also present.

Lastupdate on : Wed, 5 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 5 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 6 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST

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