Farooq Abdullah, patron of National Conference, has asserted that even if all of India’s armed forces were deployed in Kashmir, they still couldn’t stop terrorism. “Saari Hindustan ki fauj bhi aa jaye
, toh bhi nahi defend kar sakti terrorists aur militants ke khilaaf (even if the entire Indian Army comes to Kashmir, it will not be able to defend against terrorists and militants),” ANI quoted Farooq Abdullah as saying.
He called for a meaningful dialogue between India and Pakistan to solve the Kashmir issue.
He was speaking at the discussion by the civil society to explore the ways for bringing peace and reconciliation between the India and Pakistan.
Abdullah, a former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, talked about the peace process initiated by then Prime Minister of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He recalled those times when terrorists tried to disrupt the peace process by killing 20 Hindus in Rajouri district a day before Vajpayee was to embark on a bus trip to Lahore in 1999. He said the Pakistan army has real power in Pakistan and that Nawaz Sharif could be thrown out from the government anytime if the army desired so.
The Pakistan army continues to tell its people that it alone could save them from “Hindu India.”
Abdullah also took the opportunity to defend his earlier statement that PoK belonged to Pakistan and that India should be content with Jammu and Kashmir, by saying that both the nations do not have the courage to take each others’ territories.
“Not for the last 15 years but ever since I entered politics, I have never felt that these two sides can be united. Neither do we have the courage to take their territory, nor do they have the courage to take ours. We are also a nuclear power; they are also a nuclear power.”
Blaming the media for hyping up his statement, he said his views about Pakistan continuing to hold PoK and India keeping J&K could not be the only scenario and he would accept any decision which was acceptable to the majority of people in India, Pakistan and J&K. Suggesting caution to India and Pakistan from the US, Abdullah claimed that the country was not a friend of the two neighbours and was only interested in selling its weapons to both of them.
Terming the Kashmir issue as a political one, he said that economic packages will not help to solve this problem.
“If it was only about money, then the country has already spent billions on this state, but the issue still lingers.”
He stressed that he was proud to be an Indian and an Indian Muslim.
He said that the need of the hour was to strengthen the unity amongst the different religions in the country. Meanwhile, Sudheendra Kulkarni, a former ideologue of BJP, supported the views of Abdullah that India and Pakistan need to accept that the territories under their control can’t be snatched away. Instead, the two countries should provide autonomy to the people of Kashmir.
Taking a dig at Prime Minister Modi’s foreign trips, Kulkarni said that Modi should plan a Pakistan visit.
“He has gone to every neighboring country except Pakistan. Prime Minister should visit Pakistan and resume dialogue,” he said.
He also said that India should treat Pakistan as equal and not play a big brother role all the time.