Srinagar: NC president Farooq Abdullah Wednesday appreciated Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan for his statement that war was not an option between India and Pakistan, but attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he was “still speaking the language of a tea-seller”.
Addressing a rally at the Idgah area of the city, Abdullah said the Jammu and Kashmir issue is not a result of lack of development, rather it is “political” in nature, and a dialogue between the two countries was the only way out.
“The issue has held hostage the development of the subcontinent. Our party has all along maintained that a dialogue between the two nations (India and Pakistan) affords a way out,” said Abdullah, who is contesting the Lok Sabha elections from Srinagar.
The former chief minister appreciated the Pakistan prime minister for his statement, wherein he cast aside war as an option between the two countries, and impressed for a dialogue to solve the issue.
Imran Khan had last year said war is not a solution to the Kashmir issue and it can be resolved through talks.
“These words are coming from the PM of our neighbouring country, a former cricketer. However, on this side, our Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi is still speaking the language of a teaseller,” Abdullah said.
Prime Minister Modi and his supporters have often advertised with pride his humble origins and highlighted the fact that he used to sell tea as a child.
The National Conference vouches for a time-bound result-oriented dialogue between India and Pakistan, Abdullah said.
“We firmly believe that an increased bonhomie between India and Pakistan will usher in a new era of peace and prosperity in our state and in the subcontinent in general,” he said.
Abdullah said the issue of J&K has been lingering since 1947.
“How long shall our people suffer? No sooner we impress for a political solution for our state, we are outright tainted as anti-national. This has to stop. The government has to see what holds good for the greater good of the country and the subcontinent at large,” he said.
The NC president accused the BJP-led government at the Centre of using Kashmir to leverage its poll prospects elsewhere in the country. “The trend should stop as it can have serious ramifications for the country’s unity and integrity.”
Abdullah continued his stinging attack on Prime Minister Modi, alleging that his stint has led to the “amplification of hatred, particularly against Muslims”.
“This is not the idea of India which was visualised by the founders of a modern-day India nation-State; they visualised a secular progressive country shorn of all prejudices and hate,” he added.
He alleged that the prime minister does not have a speck of affection for the minorities.
“The other day, when a Hindu police officer lost his life while saving a Muslim man from the mob frenzy of communalists, PM Modi didn’t come up with a word of homage and accolade for the slain police officer. This people see with their own eyes. Now it is for us to decide if we allow such a person to continue to be in the vanguard of the new government after elections,” he said.
Abdullah also accused Modi of squandering the precious mandate of people, saying the prime minister was only parroting about “Balakot wherever he goes”.
“But when we seek account of the work and development done by him, he paints us as anti-national. He has nothing to say on the achievements of his government, he is hiding his failures by masquerading behind the Balakot Attack,” Abdullah said.