Terrorism not rooted in Article 370: Omar Abdullah

Srinagar, Dec 12: National Conference (NC) leader and former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah has rebutted the reports that terrorism in the erstwhile state was rooted in Article 370.

Responding to Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s assertion that Article 370 incentivized terrorism in the valley, Abdullah questioned the timeline, stating, “If that were the case, terrorism should have started in 1947 and not in 1987.”

In an interview with India Today, Omar expressed disappointment over the Supreme Court’s verdict on Article 370, describing it as a “defeat for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.” Abdullah emphasized that it is not merely a personal or National Conference loss but a collective setback for the region.

The Supreme Court upheld the validity of the Centre’s decision to abrogate Article 370, a move that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

Abdullah highlighted that in previous judgments by three-judge benches, the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and the permanency of Article 370 were upheld. However, he acknowledged that this time, despite past successes, the outcome was different. “It’s a setback, but the struggle doesn’t end,” he affirmed.

Expressing dissatisfaction with the Supreme Court’s decision, Abdullah also questioned the absence of a timeline for statehood, pointing out that it was a notable omission. “Why was there no timeline for statehood? It was a cop-out by the Supreme Court,” he remarked.

When asked about positive changes in Jammu and Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370 four years ago, Abdullah asserted that there had been “no economic growth and no inclusivity since August 5.” He acknowledged a marginal increase in tourism in certain areas but emphasized the absence of significant economic progress since 2019.

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