Farooq Abdullah: “Independence not an option for Kashmir; convert LoC into Line of Peace”

“My assertion over LoC may be criticised, but reality cannot be changed,” said former J&K CM Farooq Abdullah on April 7, adding that areas like Haji Pir and Chamb had to be returned to Pakistan

Photo by Raj K Raj/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Photo by Raj K Raj/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
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Ashutosh Sharma

Stressing on turning the Line of Control (LoC) into Line of Peace and Goodwill to “enable unhindered people to people exchange and trade” between divided parts of Jammu and Kashmir, former Chief Minister and National Conference President Dr Farooq Abdullah on Saturday, April 7 said that areas like Haji Pir and Chamb, captured in the 1965 war had to be returned (to Pakistan), as per mutual understanding.

Abdullah said his assertion over the LoC may be criticised and contested but reality cannot be changed. He further said that the wars in the past seven decades have not changed the reality of LoC whereas any full-fledged conflict will lead to devastation and destruction in the region.

“Sooner the two nations appreciate the ground realities better it would be for bringing thaw in the relations and ending hostilities of all sorts,” Farooq said, addressing a public rally at Mandi, close to the LoC in Poonch.

Referring to the repeated ceasefire violations at the LoC, he said sufferings caused to border dwellers due to dislocation from their homes and hearths in the wake of shelling and cross LoC firing had become routine since the past few years. Conversion of LoC into Line of Peace will benefit border residents on both sides—who have been bearing the brunt of hostilities, he asserted.

Farooq Abdullah: “The claims that demonetisation had put an end to stone pelting in the Valley have fallen flat as the youth were now taking to guns. The situation therefore cannot be allowed to drift anymore”

The NC chief asked the Centre to “shun the policy of creating divisions” and resolve the political issues to win over the alienated hearts and minds across the state. “The claims that demonetisation had put an end to stone pelting in the Valley have fallen flat as the youth were now taking to guns. The situation therefore cannot be allowed to drift anymore,” said Abdullah, and cautioned the Centre against taking the people of Jammu and Kashmir for granted and ignoring their legitimate aspirations.

Abdullah also blamed the PDP-BJP government in Jammu and Kashmir for failing on the deliverance front, saying developmental inertia has taken a toll on various utility services. He said lack of accountability and misgovernance have added to the miseries of the people, who are feeling let down on every front.

Addressing the gathering, J&K National Conference General Secretary Ali Mohammed Sagar described the PDP of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti as an opportunistic political outfit that is pursuing anti-people agenda in the company of the BJP: “The day is not far when it will have to pay for its opportunism”.

Farooq Abdullah: “Independence is no option (for Jammu and Kashmir). On one side we have nuclear powers China and Pakistan and on the other side we have India. “We have no atom bombs, no army and no jets. How are we going to survive as an independent nation? But, this does not mean that we are slaves of India.”

Highlighting various local issues, provincial Youth National Conference president and former MLA Ajaz Jan said that the border dwellers, who have been the worst sufferers of shelling, have been left in lurch. He said that compensation is yet to be provided to the affected people and the government has been quite insensitive in reaching out to them in the times of crisis.

Later, addressing a party meeting, Farooq Abdullah said that "Independence is no option (for Jammu and Kashmir). On one side we have nuclear powers China and Pakistan and on the other side we have India. "We have no atom bombs, no army and no jets. How are we going to survive as an independent nation? But, this does not mean that we are slaves of India."

The senior Abdullah, while taking a dig at the neighbouring Pakistan said that guns were no solution to Kashmir problem. He added that Pakistan was not able to handle its own problems. "What will they do to us"?

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