SRINAGAR: Amid heightened Indian-Pakistan border tension, Jammu and Kashmir’s former Chief Minister and opposition National Conference president Farooq Abdullah has dared Narendra Modi government to reclaim Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) from Pakistan saying it does not have the power to take it back.
“They say in parliament and there is a resolution that PaK is India’s territory,” Abdullah said while addressing party workers in Kishtwar area of Jammu province.
“Arre Tumhare Baap Ka hai kya. Tumhae pass wo takt nahi hai ki tum wo hissa vapas le sako (You don’t have the power to take the territory back),” he said.
Abdullah, who was three-time Chief Minister of J&K, said PaK is presently under the control of Pakistan.
“It is not the personal property of India so that it could make a claim over it like an inherited property of forefathers,” he said adding, “Pakistan is one of the stakeholders of the Kashmir issue, which even India has accepted”.
Stressing the significance of dialogue between New Delhi and all stakeholders in Kashmir and externally with Pakistan, Abdullah said, “Sooner or later, the central leadership will have to talk to Islamabad for lasting peace in the region”.
He said the solution to Kashmir problem lies in a sustained dialogue process and not in military might or aggression on the LoC and the International Border.
The cross-border ceasefire violations have surged after army’s surgical strikes on militant launch pads across LoC on intervening night of September 28/29. At least 18 soldiers and 12 civilians have been killed along LoC and IB in J&K in Pakistani troops firing and shelling in last over one and a half months.
Abdullah said dissent and discontent in the Valley cannot be silenced by canons on the border or by pellet guns in Kashmir but New Delhi must show compassion and try to win over the hearts and minds of people especially the disillusioned youth.
“Any rigid stance in dealing with the volatile, complex political situation in Kashmir will prove to be counter-productive and have adverse ramifications for the entire region”, he cautioned.
Earlier on Wednesday, he had batted for autonomy to both sides of Kashmir.
“Autonomy to both sides of Kashmir was the only viable solution to 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”, Abdullah had said.
The NC President had 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.
“J&K had acceded to India on three subjects of defence, foreign affairs and communication, which has been re-emphasised by the former Sadr-e-Riyasat Dr Karan Singh in Parliament recently,” he had said.