Saturday, February 5, 2011

Omar Abdullah's Concept of Autonomy for Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has been repeatedly saying that Kashmir is a political problem, and it could not be solve through economic measures. He says mere economic packages would not help.
Omar Abdullah's tone and tenor shows he is proud of efforts to find a political solution. Omar says he said this openly even before Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh that power supply in Kashmir cannot solve the issue. A political solution has to be found for a political problem.

Need For Political Solution
Some political observers feel Omar Abdullah has not said anything new, whereas others feel that by avoiding calling Kashmir an integral part of India, Omar Abdullah has been creating doubts in the mind of the federal government. Some leaders of Omar Abdullah's party consider his attitude as dangerous. This time, by talking of the need for a political solution recently the chief minister has shown that he did not mind openly expressing his views.

No one protests when Omar Abdullah talks of a political solution. One has to agree with him that power and water supply cannot resolve the Kashmir issue. However, there are doubts that his boldness may cost him dearly. The reason is that there are many people in New Delhi who consider Jammu and Kashmir to be an economic and not a political problem. They feel people have been agitating for basic economic necessities and not for right to self-determination or autonomy. Such elements can be angry with the chief minister.

Demand of Situation
As far as Omar Abdullah is concerned, he finds it in his favor that Home Minister P. Chidambaram has already said that Kashmir is a unique problem, which needs to be solved politically. The differences between the chief minister and separatists are no secret. Their stands are poles apart.
However, they must have been impressed by what Omar Abdullah has said. At the same time, communal leaders in India may dub Omar Abdullah as a separatist.It can well be asked from Omar Abdullah what is his concept of autonomy, on the basis of which he has been demanding a political solution.

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