Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference president Farooq Abdullah on Thursday said that talks between India and Pakistan were imperative for peace.
Addressing party workers at a function in Sher-i-Kashmir Bhawan, the NC chief recalled the words of former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee that one can change friends, but not the neighbours.
In his public address at Tangdhar along the Line of Control in Kashmir’s Kupwara district, Vajpayee had said that both India and Pakistan will progress together if they remain friends, otherwise both will have to suffer, the NC leader recalled.
The situation is the same today, he said, apparently referring to continued incidents of ceasefire violation along the border.
He asked Pakistan to improve its relations with India in better interests of its people. Today, it is visiting Saudi Arabia, Qatar and UAE with a begging bowl so as to arrange funds for running the country, he said, adding that countries are, however, not run like this.
“Come what may, today neither we can take that part of Kashmir, nor it cannot wrest Kashmir from us,’’ he said, adding that “we have to find a way out’’. “It is possible if they (Pakistan) stop aiding and abetting militancy,’’ he pointed out, adding that “our problems will come to an end if we come closer to each other’’.
The NC leader slammed BJP government at the Centre for making false promises to the people. Today, they have kept 10 per cent reservaion (economically weaker among upper caste) without identifying the categories of people and their percentage to be benefited out of it, he added.
They have also been assuring Kashmiri Pandits of their return to the Valley. He asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to announce during his February 3 visit to Jammu as to when he would be taking them back home in the Valley.
The NC leader also alleged attempts being made in Jammu to spread hatred between communities. They talk of separating Jammu, he said, without naming BJP or the Sangh Parivar and dared them to do so pointing out that it was their government in Delhi.
He asked party workers to fight all such attempts so as to keep the state united.