Srinagar: Under attack for the resolution passed by the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Council on resumption of Indo-Pak dialogue, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday said legislators voice the sentiment of the people who elect them.
"We don't talk here of our own (will). We talk for the people who we represent here," Omar said in the state Assembly.
"The Council passed a resolution for resuming talks and all of us became anti-nationals. If we call for war, we become nationalists and if we call for talks, we become anti-nationals," he said.
The Chief Minister said, "If we talk about endangering the lives of our army personnel by asking them to fight war and make sacrifices, it becomes big evidence of nationalism. If we want resolution of issues through dialogue, it becomes proof of anti-nationalism."
"No one among us is anti-national. We might have different thinking on different issues. Amongst us, some might talk about revoking Article 370 and some might talk about strengthening it and some might talk about autonomy, but when it comes to the nation, no one among us plays around with it," he said.
His remarks came against the backdrop of attacks by a section of media which dubbed legislators from the state as anti-nationals for seeking resumption of dialogue with Pakistan.
"Which political party here has not made sacrifices? Did we make sacrifices for strengthening our own homes? We made sacrifices to strengthen this country and to strengthen this state. My party sacrificed 8,000 workers not for being called anti-national in a TV studio and just for seeking (resumption of) talks (with Pakistan)," Omar said.
He said when a legislator takes oath, he does it in the name of the country and not in the name of his party.
"So when we talk about something, if it is measured by the yardstick of nationalism or anti-nationalism, and it is decided by someone sitting in a TV studio who has never risked his life, it is surprising," he said.