Srinagar, Dec 5: Throwing his weight behind separatists, opposition National Conference (NC) president and former Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, today asked Hurriyat Conference leaders to remain united and extended his support to the ongoing agitation in Kashmir valley.
The controversial remarks of Farooq came days after he dared India over taking back Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).
Addressing his party workers during a function organized to commemorate the 111th birthday of NC founder, Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, at latter’s grave here at Hazratbal, Farooq in his direct address to the separatists said they should not think him or his party as their enemies. “I want to tell Hurriyat leaders not to go separate ways, be united and we are also standing with you. Do not think of us as your enemies, we are not. But we are not ready to tread the wrong path.”
“We have also struggled and given our lives to it. So, I am telling you from this sacred place that you (Hurriyat) move forward, we are with you till your steps are on the right track and till you take this nation forward in a right manner,” he said.
Farooq, however, warned separatists of miseries if they don’t remain united.
“Otherwise (in case of disunity), miseries will befall. They are murderers, they will buy you… So, it is very important that we are united like a fist. Till then, I tell you, we will not succeed. Those indulging in propaganda that we will achieve freedom, what freedom? So many people are in jails, so many have been injured and blinded. So many are being killed in jails and police stations. Yesterday, they went to a place, arrested more than 50 youth. (But) they cannot cow us down”, he said.
Farooq said the raging fire in Valley will not end “till India and Pakistan do justice with us – with the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh”. He asked NC workers ‘not to remain away from the struggle for justice’.
“The more they try to extinguish this fire, it will rise more. I want to tell the workers of NC that do not be away from this struggle. I warn you. We are a part of this struggle. We have fought regularly for the interests of this Valley,” he said.
Later, speaking to reporters, the NC president reiterated that NC is with present agitation ‘which talks of rights of people’ and said the issue is not whether he is with Hurriyat or not. “This agitation which talks about demanding the rights of the people of Kashmir, NC is with them on this to the extent of they talking about rights. We neither were nor are against (demanding) the rights,” he said.
Ironically, Farooq said he is not anti-national and the Kashmir issue is not his creation. “Farooq Abdullah has never spoken anti-national. This issue is not my creation. This issue is from 1948, it is not anything new. It is still in UN Security Council. It is in the agreement between India and Pakistan which Indira Gandhi as Prime Minister of India and Zulfikar Bhutto as Prime Minister of Pakistan signed that Kashmir issue would be resolved through dialogue,” he said.
Farooq said both India and Pakistan has to talk one day to resolve their issues and there is no other way other than dialogue. “I do not know anything about whether they talk or not. But one day both the countries will have to resolve their issues through dialogue. There is no other way, he said.
However, the NC president said that as far as he understands, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi wishes to solve Kashmir issue ‘in any way’. “I hope that one day he will talk to Pakistan and there is no other option. Both the countries should exhibit restraint. When border skirmishes happen on border, people on both sides suffer loses – both are parts of Kashmir,” said Farooq, who is also ex-Union Minister.
Commenting on the Prime Minister’s remarks at a Jalandhar rally that he was determined to stop the flow of water into Pakistan and bring it for farmers of Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir, Abdullah said people of India were “befooled”.
“People of India were befooled. What did Modi say in Jalandhar? He said he will stop Pakistan’s water. Which rivers has he stopped water from?”, he said.