Farooq stirs controversy, says PoK should continue to remain with Pak

Avtar Bhat

JAMMU, Nov 27: Stirring a controversy that Line of Control (LoC) be drawn as a permanent border line between India and Pakistan, former Chief Minister and president National Conference (NC), Dr Farooq Abdullah today said that Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) should remain part of Pakistan while Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) should continue to be part of India.
Talking to reporters here this morning on the sidelights of a function organized in connection with observance of 28th death anniversary of former Finance Minister and veteran Congress leader, Girdhari Lal Dogra, he asserted that this is the only solution to vexed Kashmir issue. He also claimed that former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee had proposed the same to then Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf.
Maintaining that this is the only solution to present problem, he said “ we have to agree that the portion which is with us will remain with us and the portion which is with Pakistan will remain with them’’.
“I remember when Atal Bihari Vajpayee went to Lahore…he told me that he had proposed to Musharraf to take that part and let us keep ours, and let us correct those lines so it becomes easy for people to travel to and fro so that trade can flourish, but they (Pakistan) did not agree to it,” Abdullah said.
“Today they are agreeing to accept it, but we have to start the dialogue in this regard,” Abdullah added.
Replying to queries about the reported demand in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) of joining India, Abdullah said it will never happen and the countries will continue to hold the parts of the State under their respective control.
“It will never happen. It (PoK) is part of Pakistan and will remain part of that country. The Jammu and Kashmir is part of India and will remain part of India, you have to understand this,” the NC leader said, adding this is the only viable solution to the problem.
“The only way out is that India and Pakistan should start a dialogue (with each other) and find a way out with that dialogue,” he said.
In response to a question that India is saying that PoK is part of India and Pakistan has forcibly occupied it, he retorted “for how many years we have been saying that it (PoK) is part of India. What we have done so far, have we ever taken it back,” he added.
On the issue of resumption of cricket ties between the two nations, he said that the situation in this country was such that India and Pakistan had to find a third country to play the series. “The conditions are such that they can’t play a cricket match in India but in a third country’’, he added.
Maintaining that war between the two countries will not solve any problem, he said “we have already fought three wars. Nobody got anything, only people were killed on both the sides,”.
However, sharply reacting to Abdullah’s remarks on PoK, Deputy Chief Minister and senior BJP leader, Dr Nirmal Singh, who too was present in the function, told reporters the statement was against the Constitution and the country will never accept it.
“In 1994, the Parliament unanimously passed a resolution that States if we have any outstanding issue with Pakistan, that is the areas of Jammu and Kashmir which have been illegally occupied by Pakistan,” he added.
“We should get it (PoK) back and if anybody says it then for sure he is not saying that as per the Constitution,” he said, adding “India stands by that resolution’’.
Dr Singh said that India stands by the Parliament resolution of 1994 and there is no dilution in its stand. The Pakistan should return Indian territory, he added.
Dr Abdullah also came in defence of cine out star Aamir Khan saying the controversy surrounding him was a “propaganda’’ as the actor never said that he wanted to leave the country.
“When did he say that he wants to leave the country? I was myself sitting there. It is a wrong propaganda against him. He never said that he wants to leave India, he (Aamir) said that India is my country. I am born from this soil and I will die on this soil,” Abdullah added.
He said that there was no reason for Aamir to leave India as he had never said that, but blamed the media for spreading a false propaganda against the film actor. Abdullah said that Indian Muslims were proud to be Indians and nobody wants to go to Pakistan.
In response to a question regarding recent statement of Assam Governor, NC leader said “you should ask this to the Governor of Assam who is sitting there and making such statements. Nobody is ready to go to Pakistan from here. We are Indians and Indian Muslim is no less than anyone else as we are proud of being Indians,” he added.
He said that God did not ask the people where they want to be born, so we have to accept everybody irrespective of the religion he was born in.
“We are proud to be Indians. If I was born in Jawaharlal Nehru’s house and Indira Gandhi was born in Sheikh Abdullah’s house but God did not ask us where we wanted to be born,” he said.
He said that these days people are trying to create a wedge amongst different societies. “Who are we to differentiate but these days we are doing it. We all are Indians and we have to live in India and help develop this country. This India does not belong to any one individual but it belongs to everybody and even our religion tells us that if you are unable to love your country then you won’t be able to love your Allah,” Abdullah said.
Without naming anybody, Abdullah said few people in the country are giving provocative statements. “There are many people who make strange statements but they won’t be able to break this country. India is a very strong country because its roots are strong which nobody can cut,” he added.
The former Union Minister said that once he told Narendra Modi (who was then Chief Minister of Gujarat) that “I want to see a type of India in which if I look into your eyes, I can see my Allah and when you look into my eyes, you see your God. We have to make that India. We don’t have to make that India in which we see differences.” Abdullah said that the differences will break this country. “It will destroy our India. We have to save ourselves from this and it is the responsibility of the present Government to save this country,” he said.
He said that India was capable to deal with external aggression, but it faces a threat from the dangers which were lurking inside the country.
“Never think that India faces any threat from outside. We can face that threat but the dangers which are lurking inside we should focus on that especially the hatred which is being spread these days,” he added.
He said that the threat was there and people were feeling scared as some people were giving provocative statements.
“People are afraid as there are some people who make such statements which increase threat amongst others. They should make statements with caution and the people who hold major positions should exercise restrain because it has a bigger impact,” he added.
Taking a potshot at BJP while paying tributes to Girdhari Lal Dogra during main function, he said the land of Hiranagar has produced many great leaders. Besides, Girdhari Lal Dogra veteran BJP leader Thakur Baldev Singh was also from that land but BJP has forgotten him. The party should at least remember him on this day, he added.