Talks with Pakistan must for Kashmir solution, says Farooq Abdullah

New Delhi, Dec 7 (IANS) Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday said that solution to Kashmir problem would not be found until all constituents in Jammu & Kashmir and Pakistan are not consulted.

During a discussion in ‘Agenda Aajtak’ event, Abdullah, who recently created a stir by saying that he supported Huriyat Conference and asked the separatist leaders to unite for the “right cause”, said the nation would have to correct past mistakes and adopt new policy to bring peace in the Kashmir Valley.

“(Former Prime Minister) Atal Bihari Vajpayee had said that we can change friends but we cannot change neighbours. If both countries befriend, both will prosper, but there will not be any benefit if we become enemy.

“Until India hold dialogue with Pakistan, the issue will not be resolved. We will have to seek participation of all constituents of Kashmir, people from Kashmir (Valley), Ladakh, Jammu to decide what we have to do find solution,” said Abdullah of the National Conference.

“Anger is brewing up in people’s minds. It could not be seen for now. But any small cause can trigger violence again. How long people will suffer, die? Let’s take proper action to finish the problem.” he said.

In the same discussion, Congress leader Manish Tewari asked for fulfilment of promises made to people of Kashmir.

“We have committed mistakes and every government rule attemped to solve the problems. But the root of Kashmir problem is India-Pakistan division. Pakistan is still reeling under the Bangladesh war episode. Pakistani rulers want to take revenge. So it started terror activities in Punjab, later in Kashmir and finally across India. We need to speak with people with open mind to solve the problem,” he said.

Muzaffer Hussain Baig, leader of the state’s ruling People’s Democratic Party, said that India did not have a Kashmir policy.

“Pakistan has Kashmir policy, which envisage capturing entire Kashmir. They have Mission Kashmir. But we do have any such policy? In 1992, Parliament passed resolution that we will capture Pakistan occupied Kashmir. However, we in Shimla Agreement have said that we will not use force to append the PoK. We have ourselves closed the possibility to annexing PoK,” he said.

Abdullah asked why India was silent on the resolution it passed and the United Nation’s resolution on plebiscite in Kashmir.

Meanwhile, BJP national spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi said that Congress and NC are responsible for the problem since they had governed the state for major part.

He added that Vajpayee had adopted a policy “Insaniyat, Kashmiriyat and Jamhooriat” to address the problem and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had continued the policy.

Abdullah said that the reports that demonetisation led to decline in agitation in Kashmir were wrong.

“Yesterday, a train was attacked in Kashmir. Stone pelting is still going on,” he said.