Srinagar, Dec 5: The firebrand leader of opposition National Conference and member of Abdullah family Mustafa Kamal Saturday pitched for "freedom" of Jammu and Kashmir saying “independence” is an option.
He also said that Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) is not under the illegal occupation of Pakistan.
“NC president Farooq Abdullah advocating autonomy for both parts of Kashmir is one of the possible option and not the solution. He has given an option to public,” Kamal told reporters on sidelines of a function to commemorate the 110th birth anniversary of his father and NC founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah.
Farooq Abdullah today said autonomy should be given to both parts of Kashmir under the existing setup as neither India has the power to take PoK from Pakistan nor Pakistan has the power to take J&K from India.
Kamal, who is younger brother of Farooq Abdullah and uncle of Omar Abdullah, said autonomy is short of independence, which can also be an option.
“NC’s founder and former Chief Minister Shiekh Mohammad Abdullah had suggested confederation to Pakistan’s then military ruler Ayub Khan in 1964. However, Ayub Khan had rejected the proposal,” he said.
The NC’s firebrand leader said autonomy is first step, second is confederation and third independence.
“Let us not forget that independence can be a solution. It will be acceptable to majority of people of Jammu and Kashmir. Everybody would like to be an independent”.
He advised India and Pakistan to forget differences and past and sit together to hammer a solution and shape the future.
“In the future dispensation, J&K can be autonomous state, buffer state and independent state. Let us leave it to the people of the two nations and people of J&K,” added Kamal.
On PoK, he said majority of Indians think it (PoK) is under illegal occupation of Pakistan. “It is not the case”.
Kamal said India withdrew its troops in 1947 after clearing territory of the invaders, which include tribals.
“They came back and withdrew to the position, which is called Line of Control (LoC) now. In a way, they are responsible for giving the territory to Pakistan and Pak is also responsible for giving territory to China,” he said.
On External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Pakistan, Kamal said, “Sushma’s talks with Pakistan leadership or during talks between India and Pakistan PMs, there can be no results. However, talks is better than no talks. If the two countries talk and ensure peace along border, and some forward development on Kashmir, we will welcome it”.