Geelani ‘again’ trying to bail out PDP govt: NC
The opposition National Conference on Monday hit out at Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani over his statement on Goods and Services Tax, saying he has "yet again gone out of way to distort the state's history to bail out the PDP-BJP government—this time on the crucial and sensitive issue of GST extension to the state."
In a joint statement, senior NC leaders Ali Muhammad Sagar, Abdur Rahim Rather, Chaudhary Muhammad Ramzan, Mubarak Gul, Muhammad Shafi Uri, Muhammad Akbar Lone, Mian Altaf Ahmed, Nasir Aslam Wani and Devender Singh Rana said National Conference did not require any lessons on morality from Geelani in upholding and safeguarding the state's special status as it was National Conference which was the "sole architect" of Article 370 and the state's special constitutional status.
"Geelani is aware of the fact that National Conference never allowed any compromise with the state's special status from 1949 to 1953. In 1953, Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Muhamamd Abdullah's unconstitutional and illegitimate dismissal and consequent incarceration paved way for the erosion of Article 370 at the hands of successive pliant regimes in the state. These constitutional machinations against the state and its people continued till 1975 through these pliant regimes while Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah and most of the leadership of National Conference was under incarceration. In 1977—after National Conference came to power—Geelani who was an MLA at that time is a witness as a member of that Legislative Assembly that the NC-led government never compromised with the special status of the State," the NC leaders said in a hard-hitting statement. "His baseless rhetoric today is devoid of facts to which he himself is privy as a former legislator. The deceptive posturing of Geelani on GST is a design to subvert the cause of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and to bail out the present rulers of the State who are hell-bent to trample the aspirations of the people of J&K at the behest of the powers that be in New Delhi."
"Sadly, as has become his habit, Geelani has yet again presented himself to be used as an evasive, last-resort measure by a cornered and deeply unpopular PDP-BJP government. The distortion of history by Geelani to serve this purpose is highly unfortunate and needs to be exposed. The people of Kashmir cannot be expected to have an unlimited appetite for half-truths and distortions floated by Geelani to benefit PDP while the common-man is expected to render innumerable and unimaginable sacrifices," the NC leaders' joint statement read. "The duality between Geelani's rhetoric and reality, between asking the people to sacrifice while personally nurturing a quid-pro-quo relationship with the ruling dispensation – especially the PDP – is an insult to the honest and forthright people of the State."
"It is the belief of National Conference to be honest and forthright with its people and never entertain those who are habitual offenders against the truth in their keenness to help the PDP. However, since the extension of GST in its present form to the State is a grave public matter that will have far-reaching ramifications for the State and its people for generations to come – National Conference cannot allow anyone, including Geelani, to 'caution' and browbeat the people against opposing such nefarious designs of PDP. The stakeholders – including our traders and businessmen – have every right to oppose the PDP-BJP Government and its machinations against the State's Special Status and don't need licences or permissions from Geelani to stand in defense of the State's interests and the aspirations of its people," the NC leaders said. "They are competent enough to know what is important for the State and the interests of its people."