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Farooq bats for resumption of Indo-Pak dialogue

Jammu: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah today urged the Centre to resume dialogue with Pakistan to resolve all pending disputes “amicably”.

He appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to initiate a process for addressing the internal and external dimensions of problems in Jammu and Kashmir, saying that dialogue is the only option to steer the state away from the present morass.

“Peace and cooperation forms core of neighbourly relations and therefore India and Pakistan must resume dialogue,” he said while addressing party workers in Kathua.

The former chief minister invoked the Vajpayee doctrine and said: “If neighbours cannot be changed, what stops the two countries to talk to each other and resolve their problems amicably.”

Farooqhoped hostilities will give way to better understanding between the two nations, saying peace is imperative for prosperity in the subcontinent and bringing relief to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, who have been the the victims of animosity.

He made a mention of border skirmishes over decades and said that these were detrimental for bothIndiaandPakistan, as any full-fledged conflict between the nuke states will lead to devastation and destruction in the entire region.

The National Conference chief also urged New Delhi to address the political issue of Kashmir by talking to all shades of public opinion on priority “as further delay will only worsen the situation”.

He said that everyone needs to be talked to, be it Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, if end goal is to herald peace in the state.

On PDP holding National Conference responsible for the Kashmir unrest, he said: “Those blaming us are conveniently forgetting the historical role of National Conference in upholding the unity of the state and safeguarding interests of its people.”

Farooq said the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti “must shun petty politics for concealing the failures of her government”.

He cautioned against the machinations of divisive forces, who, he said, were trying to divide people on one or the other pretext.

“Unity and amity are the strongest tools to isolate such elements, whose politics is based on whipping up passions by exploiting public sentiment,” he said.

The former CM said the PDP-BJP coalition cannot hide its failures by indulging in blame games.

“They will have to account for mis-governance and the mess created across the state by non-performance during past over one-and-a-half year,” he said.

PTI