BHADERWAH: National Conference President Farooq Abdullah today said autonomy to both sides of Jammu and Kashmir was the only viable solution to the nearly seven-decade old problem.
"Borders cannot be changed but these can be made irrelevant and soft for people to people exchange and opening new vistas of trade and commerce for overall economic prosperity of the region.
"We bat for autonomy to both sides of Kashmir and converting LoC-IB as soft border", the National Conference President said while addressing a public meeting here.
Abdullah said that issues between India and Pakistan cannot be resolved by guns or cannons, which have even been proven by four wars, but these can definitely be deliberated upon for amicable solution through a sustained process of dialogue.
He said the reality of LoC and International Border between the two nations cannot be challenged at the strength of military power and therefore the two parts of the state should be granted maximum autonomy.
In the context of Indo-Pak dialogue, he referred to the speech of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in Tanghdar, emphasising that friends can be changed but not the neighbours.
He said the intermittent skirmishes on borders have only aggravated the problems of the two sides of Jammu and Kashmir.
The NC President cautioned New Delhi against delaying the resolution of political issue of Kashmir, saying restoration of the commitments made in the Instrument of Accession is the only way forward in wriggling out the state from prevailing crisis.
He said the state of Jammu and Kashmir had acceded to India on three subjects of defence, foreign affairs and communication, which has been re-emphasised by the former Sadr-e-Riyasat, Karan Singh in Parliament recently.
He said the genesis of discontent among people in Kashmir was due to breaking of promises and said that mistrust among youth is deep-rooted.
"The alienation is growing among youth, who cannot be won over by brute force or the notes of Rs 500 or Rs 1000", he said, adding that a meaningful engagement with all the stake holders had assumed immense significance.
Warning RSS against furthering divisive agenda across the country in general and Jammu and Kashmir in particular, Abdullah said that the state had not acceded to Hindu India but a secular nation, a proud abode for all faiths and communities.
"Nobody has right to undermine the sacrifices of Muslims in independence struggle of India", he said and asked the BJP to refrain from practicing the British legacy of 'divide and rule'.