Issue of accession: 18 questions for CM Omar Abdullah

08 Jul 2016 14:08:23

Issue of accession: 18 questions for CM Omar Abdullah

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who has miserable failed as an administrator and brought the state to such a sorry pass, has generated heat in the state and the rest of the country by raking up the settled issue of accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India. He has reportedly alarmed the Prime Minister and the Home Minister and he has put the Congress party on the mat and created an awkward situation for it. He has given a handle to his opponents and integrationists to beat him from right and left and question his credentials. So much so, they have dubbed him as “anti-national” and demanded his dismissal and arrest. He has sought to divert the people’s attentions away from the real issues facing them by taking recourse to falsehood and politics of emotional blackmail and deceit.

The Chief Minister, who has lost his way and become thoroughly unpopular because of his own acts of omission and commission, inefficiency, recklessness and failure on each and every front, has sought to convey an impression in the restive Kashmir Valley that the political status of Jammu and Kashmir has yet to be determined, that the state acceded to India under an agreement, that it is New Delhi that has broken the agreement and that the ongoing unrest in the Kashmir Valley is because New Delhi has broken the agreement unilaterally. All white-lie. There is no substance in what the Chief Minister said on October 6 on the floor of the assembly. It’s all politically motivated. It’s all communally motivated. In fact, it is a desperate act of a desperate and comprehensively defeated and thoroughly isolated person to conceal his failures and put the innocent people on the warpath.

The statement the Chief Minister made needs to be contested. He needs to be asked simple and straight questions so that the National Conference is exposed in the eyes of the people and those in New Delhi who have been giving the Chief Minister moral and political support for reasons best known to them.

Here are 18 questions. The Chief Minister or any of the National Conference ideologues must answer these questions so that things are put in perspective and the people of the state in general and those of Kashmir in particular know the real story of the National Conference’s politics of opportunism, political debauchery and brinkmanship. Any failure on the part of the Chief Minister or any of his ideologues/political advisor to answer these questions would be construed as a vindication of the stand of those who have come to believe that it is the National Conference that is the root cause of all the problems confronting the people of the state as well as the Indian nation and that the Chief Minister has committed a serious mistake by raking up the settled issue of accession.

  1. What was the locus standi of the National Conference at the time of accession? Is it not a fact that Sheikh Abdullah secured his release in September 1947 after tendering an unconditional apology to Maharaja Hari Singh?
  2. Was the National Conference entitled to play any role whatever as far the issue of accession of the state to the Indian Dominion was concerned?
  3. Who was to sign the Instrument of Accession and under which Act? Was it the Maharaja or the National Conference?
  4. Where is the signed copy of the “agreement” the Chief Minister talked about on October 6 under which the state acceded to India?
  5. Was the Instrument of Accession, signed by Maharaja Hari Singh, in any way different from the ones signed by the princes of other 660-odd princely states? If yes, what was the difference?
  6. Who had prepared the Instrument of Accession document? Was it the princes of the respective princely states or was it a document prepared by the State Department (Read Home Department) of the Dominion Government?
  7. Which of the princely states signed the Instrument of Merger? Was it the bigger states like Baroda, Travancore, Mysore or so on or the hill states such as in what we today call Himachal Pradesh, which were merged with Maha Punjab?
  8. What was the Instrument of Attachment?
  9. Where is the signed copy of the so-called Delhi Agreement of 1952 the National Conference consistently talks about? Is it not a fact that Abdul Rahim Rather in the presence of Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah and all of his Cabinet colleagues and National Conference MLAs and MLCs publicly acknowledged in Srinagar in the late 90s that there existed nothing like the signed Delhi Agreement and that it was a mere statement?
  10. Is it not a fact that Sheikh Abdullah, who had come back to power in 1975 under the 1975 accord, appointed a three-member cabinet sub-committee to look into the whole gamut of the Central laws and institutions extended to the state after August 9, 1953 and recommend withdrawal of such laws as were deemed injurious to the state’s special status?
  11. How many reports the said cabinet sub-committee produced? Or, is it not a fact that the said committee had produced two reports, one was from D D Thakur, which recommended that the needles of the clock could not be turned back and that the Central laws had benefited the state and its people, and the other was from G M Shah, the Sheikh’s son-in-law, and Ghulam Nabi Kochak, which had recommended wholesale withdrawal of the Central laws on the ground that they had eroded the state’s internal autonomy?
  12. Is it not a fact that Sheikh Abdullah accepted the Thakur report in its entirety and rejected outright the recommendations of Shah and Kochak?
  13. Is it not a fact that the members of the State Autonomy Committee deliberately chose not to refer to the 1975 accord in its report? Why did they do so?
  14. Is it not a fact that the members of the State Autonomy Committee suppressed the fact that Sheikh Abdullah had appointed a three-member cabinet sub-committee to look into the whole issue of Central laws and institutions? Why did they do so? Why did they keep the people and the Government of India in the dark?
  15. Is it not a fact that 18 more Central laws, including POTA, were introduced in the state between 1977 and 1990, when the National Conference was in power for most of the period? Did the Government of India force Sheikh Abdullah and Farooq Abdullah to adopt these Central laws? If yes, why didn’t they resign? Why didn’t they protest?
  16. Is it not a fact that it was the National Conference Government that ratified the 1990 ordinance in 1996 adopting the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, which had been extended to the state when Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was the Home Minister of India? Why did Farooq Abdullah government do so?
  17. Can the Chief Minister refer to a single Central law that was imposed on the state against the state’s will or without the “concurrence” of the state government?
  18. Is it not a fact that the recently-announced 8-point package is nothing but the transfer of even those powers to New Delhi that are the sole preserve of the state government? Which autonomy and which agreement the Chief Minister is talking about? The only thing that doesn’t come under the purview of the state government is the suggestion regarding the appointment of interlocutors.

The Chief Minister must answer these simple questions. He just cannot mislead the people and suppress facts and murder history. But more than that, it is for the people of Kashmir to ask Omar Abdullah to answer these questions. They must remember that it is the Abdullah dynasty that has consistently played a foul game to enjoy the loaves and fishes of office. If they want to lead a life o dignity, they have no other option but to expose the misdeeds of those who have been preaching falsehood for the sake of personal power and profit.

(J K Study Center)


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