Kashmir Indepth News
Srinagar, Jan 22: The National Conference has been getting shots in the arm with young and old hands joining the party in a year when elections are set to take place—Parliament as well as Assembly. National Conference has decided to work hard to get at least 50 seats in the upcoming Assembly elections and the party will sell its newly coined slogan—“Ab ki baar pachas (50) ki maar).” This means the party is eyeing 50 seats which is almost the absolute majority.
The new slogan is the brainchild of the NC working president Omar Abdullah, who has already started rejuvenating the party fold while welcoming the outsiders including rebels of various parties especially PDP which is facing the “storm with many of its former ministers quitting it on the pretext of witnessing a one-man show in PDP.”
Recently, the former PDP leader and the minister for relief and rehabilitation Syed Basharat Bukhari landed in NC camp along with the old hand Peer Hussain. The NC has been claiming that it would bag majority seats in the upcoming Assembly as the party has been singing autonomy rant, advocating talks with the Hurriyat.
Speaking at a discussion on “J&K The Road Ahead” , organised by the Centre for Peace and Progress at New Delhi recently, the senior Abdullah said the leaders of Hurriyat have Indian passports and in the past, leaders such as former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee have held dialogue with them.
“The Army and use of force can never be a solution to the Kashmir crisis and lasting peace can be achieved only through dialogue,” he told the gathering which included retired senior army officers and academicians from the city.
Expressing hope that dialogue on the Kashmir issue could start after the Lok Sabha polls, Abdullah said each election has divided the country instead of uniting it. “There is mistrust between Delhi and Kashmir and an atmosphere of hate has been created in the country,” he said. Bipin Rawat had recently stated that at a time when the US and Russia are reaching out to the Taliban in Afghanistan, the outfit should be engaged with talks but talks should be held without any preconditions. The Army chief’s comments at the Raisina Dialogue, on engaging with Taliban, were the first such public remarks by a senior functionary of the government.