India returned Haji Peer, Chhamb; won’t be able to take PoK: Farooq

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Apr 7: National Conference president and former Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah said today that India won’t be able to take back Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and, therefore, it was in the interest of both the nations, India and Pakistan, to open cross-LoC routes to facilitate movement of the people on both sides of Kashmirs into each other’s territory.
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“The two countries have fought four wars. We won Haji Peer, which linked Poonch to Uri in Kashmir, but we returned it to Pakistan. In Jammu, we won entire Chhamb and it too was returned. Now our ‘Surmas’ in New Delhi say they will take back the PoK. But they won’t take anything. Both countries are nuclear powers. If they both use atom bombs, we will disappear. People in crores will be killed,’’ Farooq said addressing a public rally at Mandi in Poonch district.
Reiterating his asserting that India should keep the part of Kashmir which is with it and Pakistan the PoK, Farooq said the two countries should open all cross-LoC routes so that our people go to that side of Kashmir and they come to this side, see tourist place and meet divided relatives.
“This is the only solution (to the Kashmir problem). Whether you do it today or after 70 years,’’ he said.
Describing situation in Kashmir as very “challenging and disturbing’’, Dr Abdullah said the children were not afraid of gun.
“They (the children) are ready to sacrifice their lives. They are not even in the control of their parents,’’ he added and blamed the present PDP-BJP coalition Government for this saying the Government has been denying the youth their basic rights.
Asserting that Indian Muslims are more Indians than anybody else, the National Conference president regretted that they are being seen with “doubtful eyes’’.
At the same time, Farooq also took those elements to task, who are asking for ‘azadi’.
“On one side, we have China and on the other, Pakistan and India. All three are nuclear powers. We have nothing except Allah. We have no Army, no atom bombs, no planes and no road. Still some are asking for azadi,’’ he lamented.
Dr Abdullah reiterated the need for Indo-Pak dialogue, saying Line of Control should be converted into ‘Line of Peace and Goodwill’ to enable unhindered people to people exchange and  trade between divided parts of Jammu and Kashmir.
Referring to obtaining situation across the State, the National Conference chief urged the Centre to resolve the issues which are essentially political in nature and try to win over the alienated hearts and minds by shunning the policy of creating divisions.
He said the claims that demonetization had put an end to stone pelting in the Valley have fallen flat as the youth were now taking to guns. The situation therefore cannot be allowed to drift any more, he said and called for earnest initiatives to reach out to the people. He cautioned the Centre against taking the people of Jammu and Kashmir for granted and ignoring their legitimate aspirations.
Dr Farooq Abdullah said the country is passing through a difficult phase as attempts are being made to divide the society in the name of religion and caste and by encouraging sectarian divide. He referred to the violence over dilution of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and said machinations are being engineered to end reservation.
He blamed the PDP-BJP dispensation in Jammu and Kashmir for failing on deliverance front, saying developmental inertia has taken toll of various utility services. He said lack of accountability and misgovernance have added to the miseries of the people, who are feeling let down on every front. He also referred to release of solar lights during his tenure as Union Energy Minister and regretted these are yet to reach the beneficiaries because of political considerations. He said the present dispensation will have to account for its “non-performance and failures’’.
Addressing the gathering, National Conference general secretary Ali Mohammed Sagar assailed the PDP for hoodwinking people by emotive slogans and ending up in causing enormous miseries to them in the earlier tenure as also during the present spell.
NC provincial president Devender Singh Rana, while addressing the gathering, expressed concern over politics of hate and intolerance being pursued by the PDP-BJP dispensation and reiterated the pledge that National Conference will foil all these designs by maintaining unity.


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