Srinagar: National Conference president Farooq Abdullah on Sunday said holding the G20 event in Kashmir will not benefit tourism in the Valley till India and Pakistan resolve the “future” of the Union Territory through dialogue.
He also said Jammu and Kashmir was suffering heavy losses because of the lack of an elected government.
“The question is whether we will benefit in terms of tourism arrivals from these countries? That cannot happen till the situation here does not improve and the situation will not improve till the two big countries do not hold dialogue on how to shape the future of this state,” Abdullah told reporters here.
The NC president was responding to a question whether holding of the G20 meeting in Srinagar would benefit the union territory.
“We did. The roads which were in bad shape for many years were repaired. The walls got a fresh coat of paint. The street lights started working. So we did benefit from it,” he said.
Over lack of an elected government in J and K, Abdullah, “Democracy is when there is an elected government. One LG and his advisor cannot look after the entire state. There are MLAs who look after their respective areas as it is their duty. The bureaucracy is not bothered about these things as they do not retire till the age of 60 years. An MLA has to go back to the people every five years. If he does not work, he won’t get the votes. Therefore, it is very important that elections should be held here,” he said.
The Lok Sabha member from Srinagar said his party was ready for the elections any time.
Responding to the statement of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha that a few parties in Kashmir had hijacked the elections in the past, Abdullah said, “Don’t they have means to counter it? They can approach the high court or the election commission. Even Indira Gandhi was also ousted (by the High Court). There are avenues.”
On the Odisha train accident, he said it was one of the major disasters in the world.
More than 300 persons died and hundreds more were injured, he said.
“There should be a probe as to how it happened and who is responsible for it,” Abdullah said.
The incident involving Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express and Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express, which were carrying around 2,500 passengers, and a goods train occurred around 7 pm on Friday near the Bahanaga Bazar station in Balasore. At least 288 people were dead and over 1,100 injured.