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India-Pakistan friendship will solve Kashmir issue: Farooq Abdullah

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Pitches for opening all the routes along LoC and IB

Srinagar, Dec 2: Former chief minister and Lok Sabha member, Farooq Abdullah on Sunday said the day India and Pakistan become friends, Kashmir issue would be resolved automatically.

The NC president also urged governments of India and Pakistan to imitate the spirit of Kartarpur Corridor in the state of Jammu and Kashmir by opening all the routes along LoC and international border that have become vestigial post-partition.

Addressing a gathering at Dewan Bagh Baramulla, senior Abdullah, according to a party press release said that the state’s topography afforded it a geographical dividend that ceased to persist post-1947.

“I urge the governments of India and Pakistan to open the traditional routes between the two countries. This initiative will not only help boost the economic activities on both sides of the border, it will also help rekindle the flame of friendship between India and Pakistan. The increased people to people contact and other CBMs can go a long way in doing away with the mistrust,” he said.

Claiming that NC has no predilection for power and has never compromised on Article 370 and Article 35-A, Abdullah said, “We were obligated to shore up the alliance with PDP-INC following relentless and unfailing attacks on our special position by those who are inimical to the special status of our state. The sole purpose of the anticipated alliance was to put up a strong front against the forces who are fiddling with the working autonomy of our institutions, their hierarchy, and their basic structure,” he said.

“National Conference is not power hungry. Had we been after power and position, my father wouldn’t have served penitentiary and confinement for more than two decades; had we in our party shown any inclination for power, I wouldn’t have kicked the chair and resigned from the post of chief minister when Jagmohan was deputed as governor to our state. The honor and dignity of my people is dearer to me than anything. However our struggle has been peaceful and non-violent,” he said.

Referring to the alteration in the structure and working of various institutions in the state, he said, “At a time when a popularly-elected government is not in place it is highly unbecoming of the state governor administration to fiddle with our institutions. The recent onslaught of SAC on the prime financial institution of our state is a point in case. I urge the incumbent administration to rollback the SAC decision of converting J&K Bank into a PSU, it will prove detrimental to working of the bank,” he said.

Talking to the media in the north Kashmir district, Abdullah said, “The National Conference (NC) has always supported friendly relations between India and Pakistan.

“The day these two countries become true friends, Kashmir issue would automatically get resolved.”

He said the part of the state under Pakistan’s administration is a part of the neighbouring country, while the rest of the state is a part of India.

Asked whether the NC would have some different proposal than the demand for internal autonomy if it comes to power in Jammu and Kashmir, he said the autonomy is his party’s only proposal to improve Centre-State relationship.

He rejected the suggestion that the Central government has turned down the autonomy demand.

“The Centre cannot reject that demand as the people of the state have absolute power to raise such a demand under the constitution,” he asserted.

Later Abdullah visited the bereaved family of late Ghulam Mohiudin Wani (Uri) who had recently passed away.

Expressing condolences Farooq Abdullah said, “Wani Sahab assisted late Afzal Beg Sahib in the run-up to Beg-Parthasarathy accord, I pray for peace to the soul of deceased and strength to the bereaved family to bear the loss.”

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