MANDI (POONCH): Former Chief Minister, Farooq Abdullah on Saturday reiterated the need for Indo-Pak dialogue, saying Line of Control (LoC) should be converted into ‘Line of Peace and Goodwill’ to enable unhindered people to people exchange and trade between divided parts of the state.
“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 while addressing a public rally at Mandi.
“The wars in the past seven decades have not changed the reality of the LOC,” he said, adding that the border hostilities were detrimental for both India and Pakistan and any full-fledged conflict will lead to devastation and destruction in the region.
Elaborating on the reality of LoC, Dr Farooq said, areas like Hajipeer and Chamb, captured in 1965 war had to be returned back as per mutual understanding.
He said his assertion over the LoC may be criticized and contested but reality cannot be changed. He said conversion of LoC into Line of Peace will benefit peoples living along the borders on both sides, who have been braving the brunt of hostilities.
He referred to the unimaginable sufferings caused to border dwellers due to dislocation from their homes and hearths in the wake of shelling and cross LoC firing, stating that unfortunately this has become a routine since the past few years.
Referring to obtaining situation across the State, the NC chief urged the Centre to resolve the issues which are essentially political in nature and try to win over the alienated hearts and minds by shunning the policy of creating divisions.
He said the claims that demonetization 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,” he said and called for earnest initiatives to reach out to the people.
Farooq cautioned the Centre against taking the people of Jammu and Kashmir for granted and ignoring their legitimate aspirations.
Dr Farooq Abdullah said the country is passing through a difficult phase as attempts are being made to divide the society in the name of religion and caste and by encouraging sectarian divide.