Srinagar: Opposition National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah on Monday said his party was not against Hurriyat Conference and supported the Kashmiri people’s demand for their rights but it would not tread the “wrong path” for achieving these goals.
Addressing his party workers at a function to commemorate the 111th birth anniversary of his father and party founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah at Hazratbal, he asked the Hurriyat leaders not to go separate ways saying “be united and we are also standing with you”. “Do not think of us as your enemies, we are not. But we are not ready to tread the wrong path. So, I am telling you from this sacred place that you (Hurriyat) move forward, we are with you till your steps are on the right track and till you take this nation forward in a right manner,” he said. However, later talking to reporters, Abdullah said the issue was not whether he was with the Hurriyat or not.
“This agitation which talks about demanding the rights of the people of Kashmir, NC is with them on this to the extent of they talking about rights. We neither were nor are against (demanding) the rights,” he said.
The former Union minister said the people talking of “freedom” were indulging in propaganda. He also said the “fire” in the Valley would not be extinguished till India and Pakistan do justice with the people of the state.
“Remember this, till this fire is there, it cannot be extinguished till India and Pakistan do justice with us, with the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. The more they try to extinguish this fire, the more it will rise,” he said.
He asked his party workers not to be away from “this struggle”. “We are a part of this struggle. We have fought regularly for the interests of this Valley,” he said.
Responding to his criticism by the BJP over his recent remarks over India’s claim on PoK, Abdullah said he has never spoken anything against the country.
“Farooq Abdullah has never spoken anything anti-national. This (Kashmir) issue is not my creation. This issue is from 1948, it is not anything new. It is still in the UN Security Council. It is in the agreement between India and Pakistan which Indira Gandhi as Prime Minister of India and Zulfikar Bhutto as Prime Minister of Pakistan signed that Kashmir issue would be resolved through dialogue,” he said.
He said both the countries would have to resolve their issues through dialogue.”I do not know anything about whether they (Pakistan Prime Minister s Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz and NSA Ajit Doval) talked or not. But one day both the countries will have to resolve their issues through dialogue. There is no other way,” he said. He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi wishes to solve this issue and “I hope one day he will talk to Pakistan as there is no other option”.
“Both the countries should exhibit restraint. When border skirmishes happen, people on both sides suffer losses. Both are parts of Kashmir,” he said. Commenting on the Prime Minister’s remarks at a Jalandhar rally that he was determined to stop the flow of water into Pakistan and bring it for farmers of Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir, Abdullah said people of India were “befooled”.
“People of India were befooled. What did Modi say in Jalandhar? He said he will stop Pakistan’s water. Which rivers has he stopped water from?” he said.