National Conference (NC) president and former CM Farooq Abdullah on Sunday urged for dialogue with Pakistan to end terrorism in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, saying friendship holds the key to development in the region. He stated that terrorism is still prevalent in the region contrary to the BJPs claim that they have finished it. “If we want to finish it (terrorism), we have to talk with our neighbour,” Abdullah said, echoing his political opponent-turned-ally Mehbooba Mufti.
‘Speak to Pakistan’: Farooq Abdullah
Talking to media during a visit to a market in Jammu, the former CM of the erstwhile state remembered former Prime Minister Vajpayee’s words “you can change your friends but not your neighbours” and said either we grow friendship and prosper or continue the enmity, then there will be no prosperity.
He was responding to a question about the terrorist attack on police in Bhagat locality of Srinagar on February 19, which left two policemen dead. “This is the reality of the day. I appeal to the government to adopt the same approach as they had with China over the standoff in Ladakh and started the withdrawal of its troops. The same is needed here to pull out J&K from this (terrorism),” he said.
In the wake of the recent spurt in terrorist attacks in Srinagar, Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar on Saturday called for enhancing surveillance of all vital establishments and strengthening the security grid to thwart attempts of anti-national elements to disturb peace in the city.
Asked about his party boycotting the delimitation commission meeting, Abdullah said, “We have already said that what they have done on August 5 (2019) we have not accepted it. When we have not accepted that, how could we accept delimitation commission for J&K?”
“I myself (as Chief Minister) delayed the delimitation exercise because the delimitation was scheduled to take place in the country in 2026. What was the reason for carrying out the delimitation at this time? Why not they go for the exercise in the entire country instead of picking up only a few states? That is our issue,” he said, He added had they done it across the country, National Conference would have gladly joined the exercise but they have picked up J&K deliberately, therefore, “we are not with it.”
(With agency inputs)