SRINAGAR: Kashmir is a “dispute” between India and Pakistan which can only be resolved through dialogue and not through military might, National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah on Thursday said.
Addressing workers at Hazratbal on the occasion of the 19th death anniversary of his mother, Begum Akbar Jehan, the Lok Sabha member from Srinagar said, “Kashmir is a dispute between two countries (India and Pakistan). Whatever they say, it is a dispute. The issue is still in the United Nations. The UN observers are still here and in Pakistan held Kashmir.” He said the issue would be addressed only after a thorough dialogue between the people on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC).
“It will be resolved only when the people of India and Pakistan talk (with each other) and then talk to others… This should be done so that no one should feel that the solution so achieved is a loss for either India or Pakistan or for the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh,” he said. Referring to India’s insistence that talks can begin only if terrorism ends, Abdullah said, “Guns still roar in Afghanistan, but talks are still going on.
Why cannot that policy be implemented here?” “Nothing will be achieved by military might or force or coercion… they cannot put off the flame which is burning here by such things,” he said. Asked if talks should be held with all stake-holders, including Hurriyat Conference, in Kashmir, Abdullah said dialogue should be with everyone. He also demanded revocation of the order to restrict movement of civilian vehicles on a stretch of Srinagar-Jammu national highway because of the ongoing Amarnath yatra.
“We have raised this issue in Parliament. I saw the statement of divisional commissioner Kashmir that there is no ban. That is a lie. I have seen it myself that people are being stopped at various places. This order is wrong and should be revoked,” he said. The NC president claimed that the Indian government’s slogan of “sab ka saath, sab ka vikas” had not seen any implementation. “The other day, the central budget had absolutely nothing for Jammu and Kashmir. Today we see how our people are being intimidated on the national highway.
Every now and then, we see the governor’s administration coming up with diktats of all sorts. I don’t see any of the actions of the central government reflect its sincerity for the materialisation of the slogan,” he said. He also expressed disappointment over the “dwindling secular fabric” in the country. “The country we are living in today is poles apart from what it used to be and what it was desired to be by the founding fathers of the Constitution,” he said.