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Farooq bats for autonomy to both sides of Kashmir; converting LoC/IB as soft border

Divisive forces pose huge challenge: Omar
Bhaderwah, Nov 23 (KNS): National Conference President Dr Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday sought decisive initiatives for resolving political dimensions of Kashmir issue, saying autonomy to both sides of Jammu and 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”, the National Conference President said while addressing a public meeting here this afternoon.
Dr Abdullah said that issues between India and Pakistan cannot be resolved by guns or cannons, which have even been proven by four wars, but these can definitely be deliberated upon for amicable solution through a sustained process of dialogue. He said the reality of LoC and International Border between the two nations cannot be challenged at the strength of military power and therefore the two parts of the state should be granted maximum autonomy. In the context of Indo-Pak dialogue, he referred to the iconic speech of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in Tanghdar, emphasising that friends can be changed but not the neighbours. He said the intermittent skirmishes on borders have only aggravated the problems of the two sides of Jammu and Kashmir.
The NC President 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. He said the state of Jammu and Kashmir 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 traced the genesis of discontent among people in Kashmir to breaking of promises and said that mistrust among youth is deep-rooted. “ The alienation is growing among youth, who cannot be won over by brute force or the notes of Rs 500 or Rs 1000”, he said, adding that a meaningful engagement with all the stake holders had assumed immense significance.
Warning RSS against furthering divisive agenda across the country in general and Jammu and Kashmir in particular, Dr Farooq Abdullah said that the state had not acceded to Hindu India but a secular nation, a proud abode for all faiths and communities. In a pointed reference to the recent utterances of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat in Jammu about India being a Hindu Rashtra, he wondered as to why the Sangh Parivar was fearful of Sikhs, Buddhists, Muslims and Christians. “Nobody has right to undermine the sacrifices of Muslims in independence struggle of India”, he said and asked the BJP to refrain from practicing the British legacy of ‘divide and rule.’
Speaking on the occasion, former Chief Minister and National Conference Working President Omar Abdullah said that the state is facing grave challenge from divisive forces that were working overtime to generate hatred among religious communities and drift between the three regions of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.
“There are political forces that are engaged in furthering communal and caste politics, which is against the essence of pluralistic state like Jammu and Kashmir”, he said and urged the party cadre to stand against them for safeguarding the single entity and secular foundations of the state. He said the existence of National Conference is due to its secular credentials and the cherished slogan of Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah “Hindu Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist, Christian Unity” will always remain guiding force for the party.
Omar Abdullah referred to the polarising politics of the PDP and BJP saying while the former contested 2014 elections in Kashmir by instilling fear among people about the Sangh Parivar and later based its electoral plank on getting rid of Abdullah and Mufti dynasties’.
“Narendra Modi vowed during electioneering in the state to free J&K from Abdullahs and Muftis but took no time in allying with PDP after the poll results came out”, he said and decried the opportunistic politics of the two parties.
The former Chief Minister expressed anguish over large scale devastation and destruction in Kashmir Valley during over past four months and said while 90 youngsters got killed, hundreds were blinded and thousands injured. “And the irony is that some people in the Centre are under the delusion of youngsters getting killed for Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes”, he added.
He questioned the claims of normalcy dawning after demonetisation, saying the people of Kashmir would not sacrifice their sons for Rs 500 or Rs 1000 notes. “There has been a widespread discontent among the people, which needs to be addressed by solving the political issues of Kashmir”, he maintained.
Taking dig at demonetisation, the NC Working President said that while poor have been made to stand in queues for hours, crores of invalid currency notes were being carried in a car of BJP minister in Jammu, according to newspaper reports. “Rs 2000 notes of new currency were found in the possession of two slain militants in Bandipora yesterday”, he added
Omar Abdullah also dwelt on various subjects like implementation of Food Safety Act, which was opposed by his government, abandonment of key power projects in the Chenab Valley taken up during his tenure as Chief Minister and development coming to standstill due to Kashmir turmoil. He said the rations to rationees below poverty line category has been raised from Rs 5 to Rs 10 per kilogram while the BPL list is being drastically reviewed. He said the people of the state are suffering on all fronts as there is no visibility of government on the ground.
Dr Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah asked the cadre to work for strengthening bonds of amity and unity between the people of various faiths and three regions of the state.
The public meeting was also addressed by former MP Sheikh Abdul Rehman and Dr Riyaz Bhaderwahi.
National Conference General Secretary, Ali Mohammed Sagar, Additional General Secretary Dr Sheikh Mustafa Kamaal, Provincial President Devender Singh Rana, former minister Khalid Najeeb Suharwardhy, State Vice President Rattan Lal Gupta, Youth National Conference Provincial Preisdent Ajaz Jan, Dr Chaman Lal, Sajjad Shaheen, Choudhry Shabir, Abid Magrey, Arif Mir, Naved Hashmi and others were present on the occasion. (KNS)