Omar Abdullah objects to Patil with AK-47

May 28th, 2008 - 4:43 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pratibha Patil

Srinagar, May 28 (IANS) National Conference president Omar Abdullah has taken exception to President Pratibha Patil posing with an AK-47 rifle - but there are others who feel he is making a mountain out of a molehill. Writing in his blog, Omar said: “I know she is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces but the photograph reminded me of a rather forgettable Sylvester Stallone movie ‘Stop or My Mom will Shoot’.

“They say a picture speaks a thousand words and I would have been thrilled to see a photograph of the president talking to kids, as a grandmother would in some far-flung hamlet, about the promise of a better future rather than this reminder of the one object that has caused so much death and destruction over the last 18 years (in Jammu and Kashmir).”

The picture of the president brandishing an AK-47 rifle during her visit to the Line of Control (LoC) in the Kashmir Valley was released for the press by the army.

According to some, it was meant to boost the morale of the soldiers guarding the country’s borders.

But back in Kashmir, where the very sight of an AK-47 rifle evokes horror the locals have witnessed for so many years, the picture has not created the right impression on the street - although opinions vary.

When IANS asked Omar Abdullah to comment on his write-up, he said: “I will say no more than (what) I have said on the blog.”

A young man, Riyaz Masroor, felt that instead of posing with a weapon seized from the guerrillas, the president should have held a weapon used by Indian soldiers.

Added Muzaffar Ahmad, a college teacher: “The president looks fine with flowers. Her message of prosperity and better education for the people of the state somehow got superimposed with this AK-47 photograph.”

Ali Muhammad Bhat, a Congress legislator, said: “Omar Abdullah has unnecessary carried the thing too far. The president has many roles. When she visits the borders as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, she has to address the feelings of the soldiers doing duties under extremely difficult situations.”

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