A day after right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party was routed in Bihar elections, the National Conference patron and former J&K Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah Monday stressed on the "need to defeat divisive forces inimical to interests of India in general and J&K in particular."
Presiding over NC's Working Committee meeting, Farooq said the "recent incidents of intolerance are a grave concern to the party and the people of the State."
"National Conference is committed to uphold the ideals of pluralism and secularism and protecting the rights and liberties of people in all three regions of J&K," he said, reiterating his demand for "restoration of Autonomy which forms the non-negotiable core of the party's political agenda."
Farooq highlighted the need for peace between India and Pakistan. "The mutual cooperation and peaceful co-existence between the two neighbours is imperative to the goals of development and prosperity in the sub-continent," he said. "The integrity of the State is non-negotiable and NC will defeat all sinister designs of creating fissures between the regions of the State."
Addressing the meeting, NC's Working President Omar Abdullah condemned "how Prime Minister Narendra Modi snubbed an elected Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed during his Public Meeting in Srinagar when he (Modi) said he did not require anyone's advice on the Kashmir issue after the Chief Minister's speech."
"This is indicative of the systematic erosion of the institution of the Chief Minister under the present Chief Minister and how, despite his unending praise of the RSS and BJP, the Chief Minister stands discredited and snubbed by his own ally," he said.
At the end of the meeting, a party spokesman said, the party members unanimously passed six resolutions as well
"The Working Committee reiterated its commitment to upholding the pluralistic and secular ethos of the State and protecting the rights and liberties of people living in all the three regions of the State. The NC is concerned over recent incidents of intolerance and radicalism and concerted efforts to polarize the State on communal and regional lines. The party expressed alarm over recent incidents of intolerance in general and those of Udhampur, J&K, Dadri– Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka in particular and said such incidents hurt the secular fabric of the country and were aimed to disrupt communal harmony and amity," the spokesman said, adding, "Jammu and Kashmir has demonstrated its commitment to the values of tolerance and religious harmony and the people of the State will never allow vested interests to sow seeds of discord and animosity. The State's legacy of pluralism and secularism has enabled it to face serious challenged in the past and steer the State out of difficult circumstances. However, the vested interests of the Central Government and the State Government in dividing the people on the basis of region and religion threaten these long-affirmed values and ideals."
The Working Committee resolved that people of Jammu and Kashmir should be united in defeating "all such nefarious designs and divisive forces."
"The Working Committee reiterated the restoration of the State's Autonomy forms the bedrock of the party's political agenda. The party is committed to upholding the political dignity and rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. While the party passed the Autonomy Resolution with two-thirds majority in 2000, we will continue to struggle for this goal in the future with vigour and sincerity of purpose. While the party has put forth the restoration of Autonomy as a viable and credible solution to the political issue, the party welcomes those alternative methods of resolution that would be acceptable to the people of the State and would address their political aspirations," the spokesman said.
Another resolution read: "The Working Committee is of the considered opinion that the Kashmir issue has both internal as well as external dimensions which need to be addressed for sustained peace in the region and within the State. To address the external dimensions, Jammu and Kashmir National Conference unanimously resolves the demand for restoration of a sustained and comprehensive dialogue between India and Pakistan without any further delay. Efforts should be undertaken to increase the level of confidence between the two countries in order to initiate a process to resolve all outstanding issues including the Kashmir issue which has been a source of confrontation and hostility in the sub-continent."
It added: "To address the internal dimensions, Jammu and Kashmir National Conference resolves the demand for the opening of dialogue by the Central Government with all internal stakeholders including the Separatist Leadership. Any proposed resolution of the Kashmir Issue shall be to the satisfaction of all stakeholders."
The issue of Kashmir is a political issue that has foxed many great minds over generations and no single individual can claim to be bestowed by the acumen to resolve this issue single-handedly, the spokesman said.
It added: "The Working Committee took serious note of the arrogance displayed by the Prime Minister during his Public Meeting in Srinagar wherein he said that he did not require anyone's advice on the Kashmir Issue, thereby snubbing an elected Chief Minister."
The party also slammed the 'paltry' relief released by the Government of India to flood victims is "tantamount to rubbing salt in the gaping wounds of the flood victims."