SRINAGAR: Peoples Conference chairman Sajjad Lone conceded that Kashmir leaders have to provide an enabling environment for the Centre to deliver its promises. At the same time, the former minister sought the restoration of statehood in Jammu and Kashmir, saying it was not a matter of charity but a matter of right.
In his first press conference on Thursday after attending the June 24 all-party meeting, Sajjad hoped that the APM would start a phase of reconciliation between Delhi and Srinagar. “If the dialogue process continues, it may culminate into something.”
“We have to make an enabling environment for Delhi to deliver. It cannot be done through rhetoric,” he said. “India is a land of elections. There is an election after every six or eight month. Let us not by our rhetoric create an environment where delivery becomes difficult. And if delivery becomes difficult or is delayed, there is only one loser — the people of J&K,” Sajjad said.
Asked whether he is comfortable with the road map of delimitation, election and statehood presented in Delhi, Sajjad said, “I will say statehood should be delivered now… Not as a matter of charity but as a matter of right.”
“I won’t link elections and statehood,” he asserted.
There is a need to understand that boycott of elections has yielded no results, he said. “We should look at the other side as well as keeping away the opponents (from polls) could be a trap. We have boycotted elections for 15-20 years....The leadership would have to look at both sides,” Sajjad asserted.