Farooq re-elected as president, Omar as working president of NC

Srinagar, Oct 29: Main opposition in the state National Conference (NC) on Sunday re-elected MP Farooq Abdullah as its president and former chief minister Omar Abdullah as working president.
NC spokesperson said that Dr Farooq was unanimously re-elected president during a delegate session of NC held at S K Cricket Stadium here on Sunday.
“The delegate session took place after a gap of 15 years,” he added. He further said that the delegate session also re-elected Omar as the working president of NC.
It was earlier speculated that Omar will take over the position of the president of NC. Meanwhile, addressing the delegate session, Omar congratulated his father Dr Farooq for being re-elected as the president of NC.
“Dr Farooq had expressed desire to step-down from the position of the president of the party. He forced Ali Mohammad Sagar (NC general secretary) to call a delegate session and elect the president,” Omar said.
However, Omar said that the current situation confronting the state doesn’t permit the NC to let go of a leader of a stature of Dr Farooq.
“The state is going through tough times and at this crucial time the people of J&K and NC want Dr Farooq to lead from the front,” he said. Reiterating that he is committed to work for the betterment of the people, the NC working president urged Dr Farooq to once again accept the position and guide them (NC) with his experience though these times.
Opposition National Conference president Farooq Abdullah today said Kashmir was incomplete without Pandits and his party wants them to return, though he opposed the idea of creating a separate homeland for them in the Valley.
Addressing a delegates’ session of the NC at the Sher-e- Kashmir Cricket Stadium here after a gap of over 15 years, he said Kashmiri Pandits were part of the state and his party will strive to bring them back to the Valley.
“Let me tell you that they have to return to Kashmir. Kashmir is incomplete till they return. They are part of this state and we will bring them back. I do not accept this homeland (for Pandits). They have to live with Muslims here and Muslims will protect them,” he said.
Earlier, the party passed resolutions on several issues, including one on the return of Kashmiri Pandits.
“The tragic exodus of our Kashmiri Pandit brothers and sisters is a dark chapter in history of J&K and remains a source of pain and agony for every conscientious citizen of the state.
“Their dignified return and rehabilitation remains unfulfilled and no headway has been made in this direction,” he said.
“While the stakeholders might differ on the features of the return and rehabilitation initiative, there is overwhelming unanimity over the need to take all possible steps to facilitate their return with utmost honour and dignity,” the resolution read.
National Conference passed a resolution today, vowing to continue its struggle for restoration of autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir as enshrined in the Constitution of India.
“We continue to strive for the restoration of autonomy and restoration of Article 370 to its original, pristine form, while condemning those divisive voices who are opposed to the sovereign constitutional guarantees extended to the people of the state,” the resolution passed at a delegates’ session of the National Conference here reads.
It said National Conference has always worked within the constitutional parameters that enshrine the state’s special status.
The party said the Kashmir issue should be solved through a sustained dialogue with both internal and external stakeholders, an apparent reference to separatists and Pakistan.
“The recently announced initiative through a representative of the Government of India should have clarity and seriousness of purpose to ensure the sanctity of the institution of dialogue is restored and upheld,” the party resolution said.
Calling for a political initiative, the party said a singular focus on military and operational mechanism to deal with the Kashmir issue “in the absence of a political initiative” is a “dangerous” approach and continues to alienate the people.
“We urge both India and Pakistan to initiate a sustained, sustainable and comprehensive dialogue process to resolve all outstanding issues,” it said.
The state of Jammu and Kashmir is the “worst victim of animosity” between the two neighbouring countries and has the most to benefit from mutual cooperation and peace between the two countries, the party said.
“It is for this purpose that our party wishes to see the Shimla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration to be rejuvenated to usher the entire subcontinent, especially Jammu and Kashmir, into an era of peace and stability,” it added.