Srinagar, August 20: The former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah has said there were two major incidents in his political career that he regrets, which he wished had been handled differently when he was the J-K CM.
He recounted the allegation of rape and murder of two women in Shopian in 2009 and the 2010 summer of discontentment in which over a hundred people had died.
“That continues to haunt me and always will. Besides, my failure was in not being able to convince the Indian government that hanging Afzal Guru is not going to win them any votes in the general election and, in fact, would push J&K back to the fringes. I wasn’t able to convince them, and that is something I will always regret,” he was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
Mr. Omar also claimed that the Narendra Modi government is currently focussed on breaking up the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and because of which its chief Mehbooba Mufti continues to be in detention, according to a recently released book.
Mrs. Mehbooba has been detained under the National Security Act (NSA), 1980, following the scrapping of Article 370, which granted special powers to J-K, on August 5, 2019.
In an interview with US-based authors, Pradeep Chibber and Harsh Shah, for their book, India Tomorrow: Conversations with the Next generation of Political Leaders, Mr. Abdullah also did not rule out “some amount of cooperation” with once arch-rival Mrs. Mehboob’s party PDP in the larger interests of Kashmir.
“At the moment, it appears as if the entire effort of New Delhi is focused on breaking up the PDP. Because of this, a new political formation call the Apni Party is largely made up of people from the PDP. This may explain why Mehbooba Mufti has been kept in detention longer than I have because they (the Modi government) haven’t met with the same success in breaking away people from the National Conference (NC) as they have with the PDP,” he told the authors.
“We’ll wait and see how that plays out. But obviously some amount of cooperation, some amount of working together with the PDP in the larger interest of general Kashmir cannot be ruled out,” the former Union minister added.