Jammu, March 5 (IANS) A day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh promised a solution within the “constitutional framework” for the complex problem of Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Saturday declared that “Kashmir is a political issue and we can never forget it”.
Replying to the motion of thanks on the governor’s address, the chief minister said in the legislative assembly that “Kashmir essentially is a political issue” and also reminded the centre that it had “failed to honour the political promises made to the people of Kashmir”.
In this regard, he recalled the comments of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee of “talks within parameters of humanity” and that of the recurring promise of “unconditional dialogue” or that the “mistakes of the past would not be repeated”.
“None of these promises have been honoured,” he said.
The opposition benches were empty when he was replying on the motion of thanks on the governor’s address that was delivered to the joint session of the state legislature on Feb 28.
The opposition had staged a walk out from the house against what it alleged was discrimination in the allocation of funds to different constituencies. It was alleged that the constituencies represented by the ministers were getting better and preferential treatment as compared to those which elected the opposition MLAs.
Abdullah who has completed more than two years in office asked the centre to “fulfill all the political promises made to the people of Kashmir”.
Undeterred by the criticism of the Bharatiya Janata Party to his Oct 6 speech in the house in Srinagar in which he had stated that “Jammu and Kashmir had acceded and not merged with India”, the chief minister said: “This is a historical fact and the historical facts cannot be negated by anyone.”
“This is the time to recognize facts and the fact is that for the first time even parliament agreed that Kashmir is a political issue and its solution has to be unique as its accession with the country was in a unique situation and under unique circumstances,” Abdullah said recalling the statement of union Home Minister P. Chidambaram in parliament.
He decried all those accusing his government of regional discrimination. “Any one can level charges, but these should be substantiated with evidence. My government is for equitable development of all the three regions of the state.”