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Jammu KashmirWe don’t have many Muslim leaders on national stage: Omar

We don’t have many Muslim leaders on national stage: Omar


Srinagar, May 22:  Former  and chief minister Omar Abdullah highlighted the absence of prominent Muslim leaders on the stage when the community faces challenges, and said Ghulam Nabi Azad could have played the leadership role within the Congress, but his fledgling DPAP is limited to just the Chenab Valley now.

Abdullah emphasised the need for a strong national-level Muslim leader to give Muslims in the rest of the country “some reassurance”.

Azad had ended his more than five-decade-long association with the Congress in August 2022 and launched his own party — the Democratic Azad party (DAP) — the next month.

“Unfortunately, he (Azad) was a man who would have been on the forefront of the Congress campaign. He would have been on the forefront of the leadership role within the Congress. I don't know what went wrong but I feel bad…We don't have many Muslim leaders on the national stage,” Abdullah said.

Azad not being there is a loss to the wider Muslim community, especially at this time when Muslims are facing such a “brutal onslaught” from the BJP, he said.

He said everyday there is some attack or the other whether on the issue of Mangal Sutra, the distribution of the country's resources, the talk surrounding the Babri Masjid or somebody putting a lock on the Ram temple, and now the latest one being “Muslims will bulldoze the Ram Mandir”, he said.

“Why?” he asked. “Are we mad? We have accepted the SC judgement and the Ram Mandir is ready. When have Muslims bulldozed temples in the last 100 years? We have been at the receiving end of it. This is the time when you need a national level Muslim leader to give Muslims in the rest of the country some reassurance. Sadly we don't have that at the moment.”

Meanwhile, addressing a public meeting in the Pahalgam area of south Kashmir's Anantnag district on Wednesday, the National Conference vice president said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) helped the BJP rule for more than three years in  Jammu and Kashmir which led to the abrogation of Article 370.

“The PDP helped the BJP lay its base here for 3.5 years. With what face do they seek votes from you today by saying they will safeguard it (Article 370)? They had a hand in abrogating it. They played their role in ending it, how will they save it?” Abdullah told the gathering.

He said the PDP has been maintaining it is contesting the election on behalf of bloc, but its leaders have never spoken against the BJP.

Referring to his party's support to the PDP after the 2014 assembly polls — which was declined by the PDP who formed an alliance with the BJP — Abdullah said the situation in J-K would have been different if there was no PDP-BJP government.

Abdullah said all the other candidates, contesting Parliamentary polls from Anantnag-Rajouri seat, belong to the parties who “support the communal powers” and NC candidate Mian Altaf is the only one who is fighting that. He appealed the people to vote for the NC.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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