Srinagar: National Conference patron and former chief minister Farooq Abdullah on Friday said Kashmiri youth fighting the government forces “are sacrificing their lives for the freedom of their nation and are not afraid of guns”.
“Our boys are sacrificing their lives not to become MPs, MLAs or ministers but to seek their rights, (to stress) that it is our land and we are its owners,” Abdullah told party workers on the second death anniversary of his cousin and former NC general secretary Sheikh Nazir Ahmad.
According to Abdullah, the young boys have devoted themselves to the Almighty “for achieving freedom of their nation.”
“We should not forget it that they have left. Life is dear to everyone and nobody wants to die but they (Kashmiri militants) have committed themselves to Allah that their life and death is a matter in His hand and we can sacrifice our lives for the freedom of our nation,” said Farooq, drawing applause from the people.
According to the three-time JK chief minister, the current “struggle” has its roots in 1931, when Kashmiris rebelled against the autocratic rule of Maharaja Hari Singh.
“This fight started in 1931. We are not anyone’s enemy. Neither this (India) country’s or that (Pakistan). But we want to tell both the countries to do justice with us. You have not done justice to us,” he said.
Without naming former Indian Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru or alluding to his promise of conducting a plebiscite in Kashmir, he said promises had been made in full public gaze at Palladium Cinema.
“You forgot promises you made in 1948. But a new nation has emerged which is not afraid of guns. They are out to achieve Azadi of this country,” he said, adding, “We have to save this nation.”
Farooq’s remarks are in contrast to his aggressive statements about militants and Pakistan during his tenure. His rule, as that of his son Omar Abdullah, has been criticised for countless incidents of human rights abuses and repressive measures.
Replying to media persons on Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat’s warning to people obstructing anti-militancy operations, Abdullah urged for resumption of dialogue between India and Pakistan to pave way for peace in the state.
“If you have to find a solution it cannot be found by bullet or gun but by dialogue. And it is only road that we should adopt,” he said.
According to him, a judicial commission should be set up to investigate into the reasons for youth picking up arms and people moving towards gunfight sites to help militants escape from cordoned off areas.