PAGD intact: Omar

We will be visible by results and not by holding meetings, the JKNC vice president said.
PAGD intact: Omar
“The PAGD members recently held a meeting to chalk out further strategy,” said Omar. “Do not expect a meeting of PAGD members daily," the former chief minister said.Aman Farooq/GK File

Baramulla: While time and again there have been hints of possible cracks in People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), National Conference vice president and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday brushed aside news of a split in the amalgamation saying PAGD was “intact and functioning as usual”.

While questions have been raised regarding future of PAGD, a coalition of six political parties seeking the restoration of Jammu and Kashmir's special status, Omar on Saturday said the amalgam will be “visible by results and not the number of meetings held.”

“The PAGD members recently held a meeting to chalk out further strategy,” said Omar. “Do not expect a meeting of PAGD members daily. We will be visible by results and not by holding meetings,” Omar said while replying to questions from media persons on the sidelines of day-long party workers convention at Dak Bunglow here.

While addressing party workers, Omar said that BJP leaders in Delhi have been making tall claims that abrogation of Article 370 had brought normalcy in Kashmir and paved the way for private investment. Omar said the reality though is that people of Jammu and Kashmir had been witnessing no change on ground.

“It has been over two years, since Article 370 was abrogated. Leaders in Delhi often proclaim that Article 370 was cause of militancy and a big hurdle in peace and prosperity of Jammu and Kashmir. However, there is neither peace nor any development being witnessed now” said Omar.

While condemning the killing of two policemen at Bandipora on Friday, Omar said, “If abrogation of Article 370 was cause of gun and hurdle to normalcy, then families of two martyred cops would not have been mourning.”

Omar said, every day new recruits were joining militant ranks. “The encounters are being reported each day at different places. Has abrogation of special status stopped such militant attacks? Has it changed the separatist thought as claimed by the leaders in Delhi?” Omar said.

He said people were assured that revocation of special status will bring more employment opportunities as private investments will flourish. However, there has been neither any investment nor employment opportunity. “The people in the entire Jammu and Kashmir have witnessed a plunge in the development scenario” said Omar.

Referring to various confidence building measures initiated by the former Prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, which includes opening of bus service AND trade between the two sides across LoC, Omar said, both the initiatives had been stopped now. He said if such an initiatives started by Vajpayee was wrong then “let BJP leaders openly say that initiative started by the former Prime Minister was inaccurate”. “Otherwise, it is a big mistake on part of those leaders” said Omar.

“If people in Delhi say initiatives started by the former PM like bus service and cross border trade was wrong and such initiative have left country in danger then we can understand such CBMs were wrong,” said Omar.

As per a party statement issued here, while addressing the convention, Omar “busted the misinformation campaign on NC canvassing for polls”. "Nowhere did I seek votes while I was on a tour of the Chenab region. Power is not our destiny. It is a means to achieve our goal. Our destination is beyond getting power. Time has proved that NC has gained strength whenever it was out of power,” he said adding, “We are not averse to the idea of being in power, if our goal requires us to have it, we will with the active support of the masses. However it has never been the fulcrum point of our politics. Whenever the trumpet of election is blown, we will then come again to you with an election manifesto.”

He said the reason behind his outreach to the general public and workers is to congratulate them for their victory in DDC elections. "It is you who have deflated the claims of certain quarters that post abrogation NC was poised to get wiped out. You took it upon yourself to ensure the victory of NC candidates during the elections. Most of the party leaders were caged. Most of us were facing incarceration in jails, and various others were in house detention. Yet, by dint of your deep rooted faith in your party, you came out and defeated those forces who wanted us obliterated," Omar added.

On land and job rights, Omar said, “If the people of Ladakh are allowed to have exclusive rights over their land, jobs, scholarships, why can’t we in J&K enjoy the same privilege? Why is it that the people of Jammu and Kashmir have been at a much lower pedestal?”

On tourism arrivals in Kashmir, Omar said, "As if the tourists all over India were waiting for the articles to be removed. Tourists have been coming to Kashmir in far greater numbers before Aug 05 2019."

“Baramulla has been a bastion of our party, the foundations of our fortress in this historical district are solid and deep rooted, he stated while exhorting functionaries,” Omar said. "We have to reach out to our workers who are waiting for us to reach out to them. The party leadership will ensure that our estranged workers, who are the heart and soul of our party, are back on ground. It is for this reason we have entrusted the job to Dr Sajad and Javed Dar, Dr Sajad. Both are capable and dynamic," he added.

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