Opposition continues protest over Abdullah's accession remark
Parties want chief minister's statement stricken from official record.
By Ajay Jha, Chief Correspondent Published: 00:00 October 9, 2010
New Delhi: The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party and the Panther Party on Friday continued their sit-in protest outside the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly building even as a separatist group offered its international ambassador's post to Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.
The opposition is protesting Abdullah's Wednesday remark in the House that the state of Jammu and Kashmir had acceded to India through an agreement and not merged with it.
BJP and Panther's Party have said they would boycott the ongoing session of the assembly until either Abdullah withdraws his remark or it is expunged from the records of the House.
Hailing Abdullah's statement as a victory for the pro-freedom parties, the separatist People's Political Party chairman Hilal Ahmad War said their stand that Kashmir is an international issue stands vindicated. War called upon Abdullah to step down from the chief minister's post and join the pro-freedom camp.
"If his conscience has really woken up, he can join us to complete the unfinished agenda of his grandfather, Shaikh Mohammad Abdullah, and plead the case and cause of the right of self-determination of the people of entire pre-August 1947 Jammu and Kashmir State," War told Gulf News from the state capital Srinagar.
He said if Abdullah accepts their invitation, they would appoint him as an ambassador and Chief of Foreign Affairs to plead Kashmir's case at the international level.
Shaikh Mohammad Abdullah is credited with raising the slogan that people are masters of their own fate, that landed him in prison before he changed his stand and the Congress party helped him return as chief minister of the state.
According to War, the then Indian authorities had promised to subject the instrument of accession to ratification through a referendum directly by the masses of the entire pre-August 1947 Jammu and Kashmir state which India has not done so far. This, he said, invalidates a dead document.
The plebiscite was to give a free hand to the people of the state, as it existed at the time of Independence, the right to decide if they wanted to stay with India, go to Pakistan or opt for independence.
Political circles in New Delhi have termed Abdullah's statement unnecessary and inappropriate since the Abdullah family is known to be staunch nationalists.
The statement has come when peace and tranquillity have been restored in the strife-torn state, after widespread violence lasting three months, due to initiatives by the federal government.
Pakistan Airforce: The largest distributor of Indian airforce parts in Asia
8 F-86Fs of No 19 Squadron led by Squadron Leader Sajjad Haider struck Pathankot airfield. With carefully positioned dives and selecting each individual aircraft in their protected pens for their strafing attacks, the strike elements completed a textbook operation against Pathankot. Wing Commander M G Tawab, flying one of the two Sabres as tied escorts overhead, counted 14 wrecks burning on the airfield. Among the aircraft destroyed on the ground were nearly all of the IAFs Soviet-supplied Mig-21s till then received, none of which were seen again during the War.