February 2016 News

India Our Destiny But We Want Autonomy Back: Farooq

24 February 2016
Rising Kashmir
Faisul Yaseen

Srinagar: National Conference (NC) President, Farooq Abdullah Wednesday said though the destiny of Jammu Kashmir was with India, New Delhi needed to restore the autonomy of the State. 'The destiny of Kashmir, Ladakh and Jammu is with India while Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan is with Pakistan,' Farooq said addressing party workers at the Nawai Subh party headquarters in Srinagar on the first death anniversary former NC General Secretary and his cousin, Sheikh Nazir. Stressing that New Delhi had disrespected the honour of Kashmiris by eroding the autonomy of the State, the three-time chief minister said if India has to win the hearts and minds of Kashmiris, it needed to fulfill the wishes and aspirations of the people. Blaming Kashmiri politicians for helping India erode autonomy of the State, Farooq said these politicians, who had now passed away, had done for India what Indians could not have done themselves. Calling for friendly ties between New Delhi and Islamabad, the NC President said incidents like Bombay and Pathankot would keep on happening until the hearts and minds of Kashmiris are not won. Urging the two countries to open up borders and all roads connecting two Kashmirs, the former chief minister said there was a need to fight people who were against the India-Pakistan friendship. 'I met the former Pakistan Prime Minister (Showkat Aziz) in Dubai and he told me that when he was in power, India had agreed to resolve Kashmir,' he said. 'If they had agreed to resolve the issue then, why don't they do it now?' Stressing for self-reliance and preservation of Kashmiri language, Farooq said his father, Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah had asked people to cultivate potatoes as he wanted them to be self-reliant to meet the challenges ahead. The NC President said when he was the chief minister of the State, he laid emphasis on the preservation of all regional languages. Urging Government of India not to victimize Muslims in India, he said some elements were bent upon creating an atmosphere of discord between different religious communities. Referring to Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) controversy and the arrest of Kanhaiya Kumar, he said Kashmiri Pandits had now spared Muslims and wanted India Hindus dead.