Not against assembly seat for PoK displaced residents, but decision should be left to elected govt: Omar

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Omar Abdullah (File photo)

Srinagar: National Conference (NC) vice president Omar Abdullah on Wednesday said his party was not against reservation of seats in the assembly for the displaced residents of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir but believed the decision should be left to the elected government.


Abdullah's remarks came after the Lok Sabha passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, which seeks to nominate two members from the Kashmiri migrant community and one representing the displaced persons from PoK to the legislative assembly.

"Before this, we used to hear about getting back PoK. Now, has it stopped at reservation only? As far as reservation is concerned, we have reserved seats for PoK in our assembly since 1947. Let them do their job, then fill the seats," Abdullah told reporters in Kulgam.

He said the BJP was trying to do through the way of reservation what it cannot through an election.


"They are working on increasing their number of seats in the assembly through reservation. We are not against reservation, we support reservation. We have given reservation to women and others before as well.

"But, reserving seats should be left to the elected government and not those who have come after being nominated by the Government of India without being elected,” he said.

Giving the lieutenant governor (LG) the right to fill the reserved seats is totally wrong, the NC vice president said.


To a question on Union Home Minister Amit Shah's remarks that those who go to London for vacations do not see a change in Jammu and Kashmir, the former chief minister said the Union territory has not witnessed a change for better.

"...I have not seen anyone in J-K other than those few people who dance outside the BJP office who see the change, especially an improvement. We all see a change but the change we see is of our destruction. It has caused losses for J-K and there is no gain," he said.

He said the people of Ladakh also do not see any change.


"Perhaps they also go to London for vacations, because the people of Kargil recently proved it that they did not see any change,” he said, referring to his party and Congress winning the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council elections.

"The people of Leh are also angry,” Abdullah added.

Later talking to PTI here about the Union minister expressing hope that by 2026, terrorism will be completely eliminated from Jammu and Kashmir, Abdullah said, "We have been hearing such statements for a long time now”.


"Sometimes we hear from the LG, sometimes from the DG (of Police). But the end of militancy is nowhere in sight as of now. We remember what happened in Rajouri.

"Before that, the encounter that happened in Kokernag, three army men and a police officer were killed. Targeted killings of civilians are happening. It does not seem so (militancy ending),” he said.

"After forces, if there is anyone who has been targeted, it is us, the National Conference. We would definitely want Amit Shah's words to come true and gun (violence) to stop. But it does not seem so,” he said.