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Kamaal must behave, stop making anti-India statements
Message From Kathua
11/19/2012 12:22:39 AM

JAMMU, Nov 18: A day after Congress MP from Kathua-Udhampur-Doda Lok Sabha constituency Lal Singh dubbed NC additional general secretary Sheikh Mustafa Kamaal as seditionist and demanded stringent action against him for his alleged anti-India and pro-Pakistan Kishtwar statement, Union Health Minister and former Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad launched a blistering attack on the National Conference (NC) and asked its leadership to explain as to what it thought about what Kamaal said on November 11 while addressing party workers. It was clear from the statement of Azad that he was not satisfied with the clarification that was issued by Kamaal during the press conference in Jammu a couple of days later. Clarifying his position, Kamaal had said that he had not termed India as an enemy country, that he was a patriot and an Indian and that it was media which misrepresented his statement.
Azad was right when he expressed his dissatisfaction over what could be described as a vague explanation and asked the NC leadership (read party president Farooq Abdullah and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah) to clear their position vis-à-vis India and Pakistan. Azad took on Kamaal while addressing a function organized by Lal Singh at Kathua to remember martyrs and honour their families - function which was attended by almost all the Azad loyalists, including at least three Ministers, two MLCs and a couple of former Ministers. There was hardly any Saif-ud-Din Soz loyalist present at the function. The conspicuous absence of any Soz loyalist once again established that the unity between the two main camps was a distant goal. Anyway, the issue under focus is not unity between Azad and Soz; the issue under focus is the Azad's scathing attack on Kamaal.
It would be only desirable to recall what Kamaal reportedly said at Kishtwar and Jammu. At Kishtwar, he had reportedly said that India was the greatest enemy of Kashmiri people and Pakistan was not; that while Pakistan was for a no-war pact with India, New Delhi was not; and that it was the Indian Army and paramilitary forces which were behind the recent violence-related incidents which dotted different parts of Kashmir valley, including Srinagar, and they took recourse to such a methodology with a view to ensuring continuation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act. He had reportedly made many other statements indicating his hatred for India and the Indian institutions, including the institution of Army. And at Jammu, Kamaal had said that it was wrong to term him as anti-India, that he was an Indian like all others and that it was the media which was responsible for provoking protests against him.

It would not be out of place to mention here that Kamaal had not withdrawn any of the statements which the media had attributed to him. Just go through the written statement that he issued during his Jammu press conference and see for yourself that he had not withdrawn a word that he reportedly spoke at Kishtwar. His was a vague statement. It is also important to note that Kamaal had refused to take any question from any of the reporters present at the press conference. He had reportedly said that he would not take any question because there was the possibility of the reporters again misquoting him and generating one more controversy. This was perhaps for the first time that Kamaal took such a line. Had he allowed media persons to ask him questions and supplementary questions, things would have become clear. That he thought otherwise should establish that he had much to conceal than to reveal and the reasons were obvious.

What Azad said at Kathua about Kamaal needs to be viewed in this context. The message from Kathua was loud and clear and the message was that Kamaal must behave or keep his mouth shut.
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