Jobs @ MG
‘Right time for breakthrough’
By Javed Matjee,
Mohammad Sagar represents young aspirants in the ruling National
Conference.. Having started his political career as an activist of the
Youth Federation in mid-seventies, Sagar is presently holding works
portfolio in the Farooq Abdullah administration. He is considered to be
the only vibrant contact between people and government in Kashmir. Besides
undertaking extensive touring, even of far-flung areas, about 400 people
come to meet Sagar every day at his residence and office. Most of people
meeting Sagar are job aspirants, whom the minister is unable to help.
Sagar admits that people’s expectations from his government are very
high but it is feasible to meet these expectations.
In an interview with the MG in his Srinagar office, Ali Mohammad Sagar
said that he was hopeful that something positive would come out of the
forthcoming meeting between Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and
Pakistan President Gen. Pervez Musharraf. Asked what is the basis of his
optimism, Sagar said that for the first time in the history of the
Subcontinent, any Pakistani ruler has shown flexibility over Kashmir.
‘Take recent statements of General Saheb and analyze the change. You
will feel that something is going to happen,’ Minister Sagar said.
According to him, Prime Minister Vajpayee’s statement to talk about all
issues, Indian army chief’s views of give and take, Hurriyet’s
decision to stop its anti-government activities and its declared
perception about mosque and religious places and the extraordinary
coverage given by the Indian media to the Hurriyet Conference and other
separatists groups are some of the signs which provide basis to this
optimism. The NC leader adds, ‘if you put together this jigsaw, the
result would be that this is the right time to expect something positive
out of the summit.’
Laddakh was granted the status of hill development
council on the death of just four persons while Kashmir has lost 50,000 of
its youth. Can this huge sacrifice be ignored?
He said that the proposal for the restoration of autonomy was the best and
appropriate option for New Delhi can no longer evade its promises and it
has to honour people’s wishes. The instrument of accession, Delhi
agreement and article 370 are to be kept under consideration by the centre,
he said. He claimed that his party was happy over the developments, which
are taking place with regard to the Kashmir issue. He also claimed that
all these activities are the outcome of the autonomy resolution adopted by
his party in the state legislature. ‘The resolution took the the lid off
and a chain of developments followed,’ Sagar asserted. Whatever
developments relating to Kashmir take place at the national and
international levels, are the result of NC proposal to restore autonomy to
the state of Jammu and Kashmir, Mr. Sagar claimed.
Asked about NC fears from a permanent resolution of Kashmir Minister Sagar
said that these were mere speculations. ‘In fact if some solution is
found, it will be based upon our demand for autonomy and as such we can
convince the people that the NC has provided the ground for the resolution
of the vexed issue,’ Mr. Sagar said adding that militants and Hurriyet
Conference have caused record destruction to Kashmir and its people.
According to Sagar, his party was not against Centre’s negotiations with
any person or group. Asked about his government’s performance of the
past four years, Sagar said that the derailed state has been put back on
Asked why the state government failed to put an end to the continuing
bloodshed in Kashmir, the NC leader admitted that innocent people were
getting killed. However, he termed it as a result of an atmosphere where
various agencies do not want restoration of peace and normalcy.