- BJP lashes out at Farooq Abdullah for his comment on LoC
JAMMU: National Conference president Farooq Abullah today sought that the Line of Control (LoC) should be converted in to a 'Line of Peace and Goodwill' while India and Pakistan should initiate the dialogue process with an active involvement of the people of Jammu and Kashmir to usher harmony and tranquillity in the state.
He cautioned the Centre against taking the people of J&K "for granted and ignoring" their legitimate aspirations.
He said the claims that demonetization had curbed stone pelting had fallen flat and expressed concern that "youth were now taking to guns".
India and Pakistan should resume the dialogue process and engage people of Jammu and Kashmir in an acceptable solution, Abdullah said addressing party workers at Balakote in Poonch district.
Sagacity lies in acknowledging realities and shedding the baggage of the past, he said.
Referring to the Indo-Pak hostilities in 1990s, he said former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee had invited the then Pakistan president Parvez Musharraf despite the Kargil incursion and his political wisdom worked in terms of a cease-fire agreement which brought cheer to the lives of border people.
"Why can't Vajpayee's spirit be emulated by his political inheritors," he said warning that extreme positions could lead to devastation and destruction in the entire region.
Reiterating his party's demand for greater autonomy to the state, the former chief minister said internal autonomy within the framework of Indian Constitution and conversion of Line of Control (LoC) into Line of Peace was the pragmatic way forward.
"The people of the state decided their future in 1947 by acceding to Mahatma Gandhi's secular India and they will fight all machinations of reversing these well established credentials by polarising forces.
India is not religion specific but a country of all, irrespective of religion, region and caste.
This legacy cannot be trampled on by fringe elements, currently holding the centre-stage in Indian politics, as majority of Hindus disapprove politics of polarisation and division," he said.
Without naming BJP, he said the current spell of governance in New Delhi had created chaos all over, with people feeling their identities threatened and thus taking to streets.
Abdullah expressed concern over the "dicey political situation" saying he would keep his fingers crossed about things to happen in case the present arrangement is repeated in New Delhi in 2019.
"India cannot flourish with a myopic political vision.
It has been a forward looking country, which has to move forward as a strong, stable and a united nation," he added.
Abdullah cautioned people against the divisive politics, saying attempts were being made to create wedge in the society on the basis of region and religion.
"All this is being done with a sinister motive of fragmenting Jammu and Kashmir into three different regions", he said and warned those nurturing this "nightmarish dream".
National Conference would fight these designs tooth and nail, he said.
Earlier, at a public meeting at Mandi in Poonch district, Abdullah cautioned the Centre against taking the people of Jammu and Kashmir for granted.
"The claims that demonetization had put an end to stone pelting in Jammu and Kashmir have fallen flat as the youth were now taking to guns.
The situation therefore cannot be allowed to drift anymore," he said.
The former chief minister called for earnest initiatives to reach out to the people and urged the Centre to resolve the issues which are essentially political in nature and try to win over the alienated hearts and minds by shunning the policy of "creating divisions".
The MP reiterated the need for Indo-Pak dialogue and said Line of Control (LoC) should be converted into 'Line of Peace and Goodwill' to enable unhindered people to people exchange and trade.
Abdullah said conversion of LoC into Line of Peace would benefit peoples living along the borders on both sides, who have been braving the brunt of hostilities.
He referred to the violence over the alleged "dilution" of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and said machinations are being engineered to end reservation.
"The present dispensation at the Centre is working against the interests of farmers, weaker sections, and minorities," he alleged.
The NC president also blamed the PDP-BJP dispensation in Jammu and Kashmir for "failing" to deliver.
"The lack of accountability and mis-governance have added to the miseries of the people, who are feeling let down on every front," he claimed.