J&K: National Conference and People’s Democratic Party on the same page
by Hari Om on 02 Mar 2013 24 Comments

Who says the ruling National Conference and the main opposition People’s Democratic Party, both Kashmir-based and Kashmir-centric parties whose core constituency is the same, are arch-political rivals? Those who say so are actually naïve. They have failed to understand that the NC and the PDP are two sides of one and the same coin, and they are operating from different platforms but pursing the same break-India agenda. It is, of course, true that both the NC and the PDP want to be in the driver’s seat so that they could enjoy the loaves and fishes of office and at the same time wreck the polity from within and outside with the help the Congress party whose concept of India and on India is no different.


(The Congress party cannot be considered as a party of Indians in the true sense of the term and serious students of history would at once vouch for the fact that the Congress was a brainchild of the canny and pauper Britons who wanted to deflate the Indian freedom struggle and perpetuate British rule in India so that they could loot and plunder the resource-rich India and enrich the British economy at the cost of India.) Both the NC and the PDP are on the same page as far as their attitude towards India, the Indian Constitution, Indian Army and Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), Pakistan and the lawfully executed Afzal Guru (convicted in the December 2001 Parliament terror attack case) is concerned.


The NC is opposed to the Indian Constitution like the PDP. The NC wants autonomy, bordering on virtual sovereignty. In other words, the NC wants New Delhi to withdraw all Central laws and institutions extended to the state after August 1953 on the ground that these extensions have “eroded the Kashmir’s autonomy and special status and alienated the people of Kashmir” (read Kashmiri-speaking Sunnis). It says that grant of greater autonomy to the state alone can end “alienation” in Kashmir (read end of the lawful and constitutional presence of India in Kashmir, an integral part of the over 5000-year-old Indian civilization.) The fact of the matter is that the NC wants a step short of complete independence as a first step towards the final destination: Complete independence.


This is a factual statement and can be verified from the statements made by its Rajya Sabha MP Ghulam Nabi Rattanpuri on February 24 and 25 after his meeting with APHC (G) chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani (currently under house arrest) in New Delhi at his Malaviya Nagar residence. He said that “the 1975 accord” between Sheikh Abdullah and Prime Minister Indira Gandhi “was a way forward to reach the final destination” and that “his party founder Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah was arrested for the same cause which Geelani is fighting for at this juncture”.


The PDP, too, wants New Delhi to close down its legal politico-constitutional and moral platform in Jammu & Kashmir and permit the people of the state (read Kashmiri-speaking Sunnis, who constitute about 22 per cent of the state’s population and inhabit only 5 per cent of its land area) to establish a system they like. It doesn’t use the term autonomy or pre-1953 politico-constitutional arrangement under which the Kashmiri ruling elite exercised absolute legislative, executive and judicial powers and under which the “final interpreter” of the Jammu & Kashmir Constitutional Act of 1939 (section 75) was the “State Council of Ministers” and not the Jammu & Kashmir High Court of Judicature. The Jammu & Kashmir State was governed by the Jammu & Kashmir Constitutional Act of 1939 with some amendments here and there between 1939 and January 26, 1957.)


The PDP uses the term “self-rule”, which was used by some Congress leaders during the Indian freedom struggle against the British, especially in the first and second decades of the 20th century. While demanding self-rule, the PDP advances the same arguments the NC has been advancing for years now. Besides, the PDP self-rule doctrine provides for a mechanism that enables Pakistan to share (sic) sovereignty with India in this part of Jammu & Kashmir.


It talks of “supra-state measures” – a term even the Leftists never used – and suggests that the shared-sovereignty doctrine would help harmonize India-Pakistan relations and forge a lasting peace in South Asia. The NC doesn’t talk about “supra-state measures” and the shared-sovereignty doctrine. But, at the same time, it wants New Delhi to take Pakistan on board so that the “Kashmir problem is resolved to the satisfaction of Pakistan, India and Kashmiris – the “third party to the dispute” (or so it claims).


There is no fundamental difference between the NC and the PDP as far as their attitude to Pakistan is concerned. Both the Kashmir-based outfits consider Pakistan an important factor in the State’s political situation. This is only natural as both parties are no more than extensions of the pre-1947 All-India Muslim League.  


The NC and the PDP have not only been urging New Delhi to roll back all the central laws and exclude the people of the State from the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, Comptroller and Auditor-General, Election Commission and similar Central institutions, but also asking New Delhi to repeal what they term the “draconian AFSPA” and similar laws enacted to enable the Army and paramilitary forces to combat terrorism and separatism, maintain law and order and protect the territorial integrity of India. The Indian Army is also the target of the NC and the PDP. They want New Delhi to demilitarize Kashmir in stages. They say demilitarization of Kashmir has become absolutely imperative to provide “breathing space” to the supposedly alienated and oppressed Kashmiri Muslims.


That both the NC and the PDP are working in tandem notwithstanding the bitter struggle between the two for the driver’s seat in Jammu & Kashmir can also be seen from the letters the working president of the NC and Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and PDP patron and former Union Home Minister and Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed wrote on February 26 to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh – a votary of a “non-territorial Kashmir solution”. 


Both Omar and Mufti asked the Prime Minister to return the body of executed Afzal Guru, Pak-based anti-India Jaish-e-Mohammad’s operative who was convicted in the December 13, 2001 Parliamentary terror attack case, to his family which is based in Kashmir. Both Omar and Mufti advanced similar arguments while asking the Government of India to return the body of the lawfully hanged terrorist and enemy of humanity and India.


The most horrible aspect of the whole situation is that both Omar and Mufti are in the good books of New Delhi and the Congress party. There is no need to write more on Omar and Mufti and their supporters in New Delhi and the Congress party. For, none of them represent the Indian ethos, the Indian nation and the Indian interest. That is the reason why an increasingly fed-up and chafing Indian nation yearns for a radical nationalist at the centre.

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