Day after National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said the resolution of Kashmir is "possible within the ambit of the Indian Constitution", the Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani slammed him on Sunday, saying his remarks were "far from historical realities" and that his NC "sold state's interests for personal gains."
Speaking at conference 'India and Pakistan: A Subcontinental Affair' organized by students of New York University in US on Saturday, Omar had said he was not sure if a solution through a plebiscite can take place in the current circumstances "because the territory of Jammu and Kashmir no longer resembles what it did on the night of August 1947.
"In that respect the Government of India has been absolutely blameless. Our territorial boundaries have not changed. No government in New Delhi has tinkered with state boundaries. Pakistan cannot say the same, they have tinkered with the territorial boundaries," he had said. Slamming Omar's remarks, Geelani, the veteran resistance leader, said the National Conference is "ignoring" the martyrs of 1931.
"They converted Muslim Conference into National Conference and thus opted to follow the footsteps of the Indian National Congress. Late Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah (the NC founder) though pursued the Plebiscite Front for 22 years, in 1975—after ignoring miseries and agonies faced by people—opted to choose his fortune for power corridors within the framework of Indira-Abdullah accord," Geelani said in a hard-hitting statement.
Elaborating, he said: "This was followed by Sheikh's son Farooq and grandson Omar Abdullah and (they) thus bargained the state's interests for their personal gains."
"Despite their bargaining with New Delhi, the people in the state never accepted the hegemony of India and resisted it with their will and wish. Kashmir issue is an internationally-accepted dispute and its solution is never possible within the framework of the Indian Constitution," he said.
"The Indian leadership pledged to solve the issue as per the aspirations of people of the state and even their commitment is on record with international bodies, UN Assembly and Pakistan. In 1948, first Prime Minister of India Jawahar Lal Nehru raised the issue at the UN Assembly and on 31st October 1947, addressed a telegram to Prime Minister of Pakistan Liyaqat Ali Khan wherein he accepted that after restoring peace in the state, they will call back their forces and allow people to exercise their aspiration about their political destiny," he said.
"Nehru pledged that it is their commitment with the world and people of J&K and this was accorded (sic) in Security Council and both India and Pakistan were signatory to these resolutions. In light of a resolution passed on 5th January 1949 at the UN Security Council, both Pakistan and India agreed that the future about Kashmir needs to be ascertained through democratic, free and fair plebiscite," Geelani said.
"Omar Abdullah's statement that 'Pakistan will create hurdles in plebiscite' is childish and irrelevant. Pakistan from day first is pleading the case for a referendum for entire J&K including Gilgit and Baltistan. It has always held UN resolutions and instead it is India which has always adopted 'dilly-dallying tactics' and created hurdles in the way of lasting and peaceful solution of Kashmir," he said.
"If India is ready to fulfill its promise, we will ask Pakistan to withdraw its forces from Pakistan-administered Kashmir and hold a referendum as per the UN Charter. We ask both countries to allow people from all parts of Kashmir to express their aspiration about their political future so that the resources incurred on arms and ammunitions are spent on people's welfare," he said.
Geelani said since 1947, people of Jammu and Kashmir have given enormous sacrifices. "In October and November 1947, five lakh innocent people in Jammu were brutally massacred and since then the resistance movement is presenting (sic) the cherished sacrifice. The present people's uprising is a follow-up of same mission for freedom and people should be allowed to express their wish about their political destiny," he said.
"More than hundred innocents fell to bullets,15000 were injured, more than 1000 blinded, property worth millions ransacked, thousands arrested and PSA slapped on them in the past three months while harassment and intimidation and crackdown has become the order of the day. It is sorrowful that when the entire Kashmiri nation is in a miserable condition, facing hardships and agony, the pro-India politicians are playing with the sentiments of miffed people and playing (to) the tune of their masters about self-rule and Indian constitution," he said.