NEW DELHI: In his first statement after release from over seven months-long detention, three-time former J&K chief minister and National Conference president Farooq Abdullah on Sunday asked all parties of Jammu and Kashmir to unite in asking the Centre to bring back all J&K detainees lodged outside prisons to the Union Territory on “humanitarian” grounds.
“I have consciously avoided making any political statements since my release. While I believe a free and frank exchange of political views is essential so that we can take stock of momentous changes that J&K has seen after August 5, we are still some way away from an environment where such political discourse will be possible. This is especially so considering the number of people detained in August last year who remain in jails outside J&K,” 83-year-old Abdullah said in his first statement after government his release on March 13.
Abdullah, who was among three former CMs and other leaders detained, said, “Before we allow politics to divide us, I appeal all political leaders to unite behind the call to Union government to bring back all detainees from J&K in prisons outside pending release.”
“I am acutely aware that compared to hundreds of Kashmiri families, I have been far more fortunate. I was detained at home and my family had access to me. ...For families of most of detainees, meeting their loved ones is not nearly as easy, ” the 82-year-old leader said.