Omar refers history, hails Sheikh Abdullah’s decision to accede Jammu and Kashmir to India
Defending the Indira-Sheikh accord, Omar said his grandfather took the decision after considering the changing situation at international level and attacks by Pakistan and China on Jammu and Kashmir Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today affirmed that National Conference founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah’s decision to accede to India was for good of the people, a day after he warned that any move to abrogate Article 370 will reopen the state’s accession issue. Addressing a public meeting after paying floral tributes to his grandfather Sheikh Abdullah on his 108th birth anniversary at Hazratbal here, Omar said the decision to accede to India was for good of the people and endorsed the NC founder’s 1975 accord with then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. “… It (1977 Indira-Sheikh accord) was not an easy decision for Sher-i-Kashmir. He did not know if the people would support him or not. But he knew that there was nothing better than that for the people… he fought elections on that accord. You all know the result of that election, which is considered to the cleanest of the polls in the state so far,” Omar said. Defending the Indira-Sheikh accord, Omar said his grandfather took the decision after considering the changing situation at international level and attacks by Pakistan and China on Jammu and Kashmir. “He (Abdullah) ran a movement for Plebiscite here for more than 20 years. He wanted that the people of Jammu and Kashmir should decide for themselves… he thought that the (people of the) state would not be allowed to live in peace in the backdrop of attacks by Pakistan and China and he entered an accord with Gandhi to safeguard the lives and property of the people of the state,” he said. The Chief Minister rued that the youth in the state have misunderstood Sheikh Abdullah, who gave so much to Kashmir. “Unfortunately today’s youth has not fully understood Sher-i-Kashmir. It is our fault and weakness too. We have not been able to tell people about him in real sense. Sher-i-Kashmir did for the people of the state what, perhaps, no other leader can do,” he said. Omar said Sheikh Abdullah decided to go with India in 1947 as he was convinced that it was for the betterment of the state and its people. “In 1947, most of the Muslim rulers (of princely states) had an inclination toward Pakistan, even those Muslim leaders who ruled Hindu majority provinces, like Hyderbad or Junagarh, Sher-i-Kashmir was the only Muslim leader of a state with a majority population of Muslims who felt that the people of Jammu and Kashmir will benefit from being with India than with Pakistan,” he said.