Says J&K to benefit most by thaw in Indo-Pak relations
Jammu: Giving autonomy to both parts of the divided Jammu and Kashmir is the only way to resolve the Kashmir dispute, former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah said on Monday.
During a tour of Rajouri district, the National Conference leader told party activists at Budhal: “Autonomy to both sides of Jammu and Kashmir is the only viable and realistic solution to the nearly seven-decade-old problem that has cast dark shadows over the generations.
“We owe peace and dignified life to posterity. And that can be achieved only by converting the present dividing line between the two neighbouring countries into a line of peace,” he added.
Abdullah is on a two-day visit to Rajouri and Poonch districts of Jammu region.
He said the hostilities of 70 years had retarded growth on both sides of the Line of Control and the time had come for India and Pakistan to take a bold initiative by calling a spade a spade.
He referred to the wars of the past and continued border skirmishes, saying these had only added to the miseries of the people of Kashmir.
“The soft borders would open up vistas of economic opportunities besides enabling hassle free exchange of people, which in turn will be a major dividend to peace and tranquillity in the region,” he said. Abdullah hoped that “good sense will prevail upon all the stakeholders”.
He said denial of autonomy had brought Jammu and Kashmir to the present morass, which if ignored any further could prove detrimental to the larger interests of the state.
Abdullah also spoke about alleged divisive policies being pursued by the Narendra Modi government and said politics of hate and intolerance were against the very idea of India.
He said India belonged to people of different faiths and they cannot be brought into confrontationist situations for petty politics.
Addressing another public rally in Sunderbani, Farooq said that border people will be immediate beneficiaries of normalisation of relations between the two neighbours.
He said border people have been braving brunt of hostilities and now, “let us work towards bringing cheer in their lives by fostering good relations”. He hoped Pakistan will positively respond to the situation and help in creating congenial atmosphere for taking forward the peace process. He said the two countries have no option but to talk in the larger interest of peace and freeing the people from shackles of hatred and mistrust. “Peace and friendly relations between India and Pakistan will enhance the quality of life of millions, who have paid dearly due to decades long suspicion and hostilities over the years.
National Conference President cautioned that peace and normalcy in the region will remain a distant dream as long as the two neighbours won’t sort out issues in friendly atmosphere. He said the people of Jammu and Kashmir have always remained at the receiving end whenever borders turned hot and referred to loss of human life along Line of Control early last year due to unprovoked shelling from across the border.