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Autonomy to both sides of J&K only viable solution: Farooq

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Nov 6: National Conference President and Member Parliament of Srinagar Dr Farooq Abdullah today invoked both India and Pakistan to take concrete political steps for resolving the vexed Kashmir issue.
“Autonomy to both sides of the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir is the only viable solution to decades old problem,” the NC President said while addressing a public meeting at Keran Kupwara. He is on a four day tour to LoC areas in north Kashmir.
“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,” Dr Farooq Abdullah said, adding, “both India and Pakistan cannot keep people of the State hostage to their egos. Its time for the leadership of both countries to make opening of all traditional routes along LoC a priority.”
He said that its time for both countries to realize the realities of present times and initiate the process which is acceptable to all including to the people of J&K. “The elected representatives in J&K have already made their stand clear when they passed a Autonomy resolution in 2000 with a thumping majority. GoI therefore must shun its rigidity and take it up in the upcoming Parliament session,” Dr Abdullah added.
He further said that the two nuclear powered nations cannot afford to go for a military solution and therefore the two parts of the State should be granted maximum autonomy. He said the intermittent skirmishes on borders have only aggravated the problems of the two sides of Jammu and Kashmir.
Asking party workers to remain united against the divisive forces, Dr Farooq Abdullah said, “we must be ready to safeguard the State’s special status which is under an assault from those who have always opposed J&K’s political rights and dignity.”
“Article 35A is vital and non-negotiable for the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. Those trying to divide us on regional and religious lines to further their agenda will have to be defeated. This is a battle for the interests, rights and dignity of every single citizen of Jammu & Kashmir, irrespective of his religion, region, language and caste. Our party is reaching out to people in every nook and corner of the state in all the three regions, to make people aware of the disastrous ramifications of Article 35A being struck down. We will continue with this process of outreach and consensus-building at the grassroots level,” Abdullah said.
Senior party functionaries including party Vice President Chowdhary Mohammad Ramzaan, Provincial President Nasir Aslam Wani, District President Kupwara Qaiser Jamsheed Lone and Nasir Khan also addressed the gathering.

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