Welcomes US mediation
Srinagar: Taking a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tourism versus terrorism remarks, National Conference president Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday said that the youth who pelt stones have no interest in tourism and that they throw stones to “fight for their nation”.
“I want to tell Modi sahib no doubt tourism is our life. But a stone thrower has nothing to do with tourism. They (stone throwers) will risk starvation but will throw stones to fight for the nation,” Abdullah said while addressing workers at Shivpora.
“The (stone pelting) youth are sacrificing lives so that a solution can be found to Kashmir issue. They are not sacrificing lives for tourism,” he said. Abdullah is the party’s Srinagar nominee for parliamentary by polls to be held on April 9.
Abdullah’s reaction comes days after Modi offered a choice to Kashmiri youth to choose between tourism and terrorism after inaugurating the Chenani-Nashri tunnel in Udhampur on Sunday.
The three-time former chief minister said Modi is not the one who provides livelihood to the people. “It is Allah who is providing the livelihood to the people irrespective of their religions,” he said. “We (Muslims) have never raised fingers over their religion (Hindu). I have sung their Bhajans also. They must not interfere in our religion,” he said.
Meanwhile, Abdullah welcomed US offer of mediation in resolving the issue of Kashmir between India and Pakistan. “America should act as mediator between India and Pakistan in resolving the long pending Kashmir issue in case the two neighbouring countries fail to resolve it on their own,” he said.
He, however, added that America wanted to act as moderator between two neighboring countries in resolving the Kashmir issue but alleged India has always expressed “reluctance” in involving them over the issue.
“India always tried to resolve the issue without involving anyone into it but unfortunately no result was yielded despite passing several decades,” he said.