Wondering how long India and Pakistan will remain in a state of “animosity” and “hostility”, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah on Tuesday underlined the need for peace as the people of Jammu and Kashmir are the primary victims of confrontation between the two countries. “How long shall we remain in the state of animosity and hostility? There is no substitute to peace, and both India and Pakistan understand that wars cannot solve political issues,” he said while addressing a public meeting in the border district of Rajouri.
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“Political issues have to be resolved amicably and through a meaningful and credible political process,” added the former Chief Minister of the state. He recalled the peace dividends of the border ceasefire agreement between India and Pakistan during the tenure of former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and said he saw no reason why that experiment and spirit cannot be implemented now. Abdullah referred to the sufferings caused to border dwellers due to dislocation from their homes because of shelling and cross-LoC firing, saying “tragically this has become a routine” since the past few years.
The dislocation brings with it the trauma of deprivation and disempowerment, as farmers cannot harvest their crops, economic activity gets paralyzed, and a fear psychosis engulfs everyone while children are deprived of their dreams,” he said. Abdullah appealed for strengthening the legacy of amity and tranquility in the state. Without naming any political entity, he cautioned people against nefarious attempts to divide people on the basis of region and religion.
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“Jammu and Kashmir has been, is and will continue to remain a single entity,” he said and called upon the party cadre to work with dedication and commitment to meet various challenges that the state is confronted with. “On the bedrock of our legacy, it is our duty to promote
amity and brotherhood, which the party has upheld and nurtured during the most trying circumstances in our history. Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist and Christian unity has been at the core of the National Conference’s political philosophy and this has to be maintained at all costs,” he said.
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