On Thursday, the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration was formed that comprises the National Conference of the Abdullahs, Mehbooba Mufti’s PDP and some other Kashmir-based parties for the restoration of Article 370 in J&K. Is it a move towards reviving politics in the Valley?
National Conference leader and former J&K CM Omar Abdullah tackled this and other crucial questions as he spoke to India Today TV Consulting Editor Rajdeep Sardesai on his show News Today at 9. It was Omar Abdullah’s first TV interview after he was released from detention.
Q: Is this an opportunistic alliance? Is this a political alliance?
A: It is a continuation of what started on August 4, 2019, when we had met and a number of us were detained and the process was grounded. Today, we met to give it a proper name, a formal structure, a proper agenda. It’s not opportunistic. Yes, it’s political; can’t say it’s a social alliance.
Q: Is it a single-point alliance? Or is it also about reviving politics in the Valley?
A: Politics in the Valley is about this issue. How can it be divorced from politics? It’s a constitutional and peaceful way to get back what was snatched from us unconstitutionally and illegally.
Q: But your father, Farooq Abdullah, said Article 370 will be restored with China’s help. Your views?
A: That’s not what he said. He said China has been commenting on J&K’s internal affairs. That 370 will come back with China’s help is the BJP spokesperson’s formulation.
Q: He also reportedly said China’s intrusion was due to the abrogation of Article 370, and that the people of J&K would prefer being Chinese citizens
A: This is not his formulation. He only reflected what some of the people feel on the ground. He is not advocating a role for China in J&K.
Q: But there is also anger about the Muftis and the Abdullahs
A: The anger is not about the Muftis and the Abdullahs. Show me a single piece of activity that these two entities have been able to do. Mehbooba Mufti was in detention for 14 months, my father was in detention for months, I was in detention for nine months. There was enough time to create alternatives for us. What is it that the alliance rattles people? We’re also political entities. How are we different from what Ladakhis do?
Q: The fear is, this will only balkanize the area further
A: What happened in Ladakh didn’t bother you? Today, there was a protest in Jammu. That’s fine. We’ll return the favour. What’s wrong with it?
Q: Do I see the anger in Omar Abdullah, against Delhi?
A: Will you come out from detention as a happy individual? I was locked up under the Public Safety Act, considered a threat against my people. Please don’t question my anger. Why don’t you ask those who locked us up?
We’re not begging the government of India. Our fight is in the Supreme Court. I’m not going to go to PM Modi with a begging bowl. No government lasts forever. We will wait. We will keep the pot boiling. We will not give up.
Source: India Today