Kashmir can only be resolved by dialogue: Farooq

National Conference President Farooq Abdullah on Thursday said Kashmir was a “dispute” between India and Pakistan, which can be resolved only through dialogue. He, however, added that any resolution agreed upon on Kashmir should satisfy all stakeholders.

“Kashmir is a dispute between two countries (India and Pakistan). No matter what they say it is still a dispute. It is still an issue in the UN. The UN observers are still here and in that Kashmir (across LoC) as well,” Abdullah said.

Abdullah was addressing party workers at Hazratbal here on the 19th death anniversary of his mother Begum Akbar Jehan.

He said Kashmir issue can be resolved only when they (India and Pakistan) talk to each other. “Then, they should talk to everybody. India will have to talk to people in this Kashmir and Pakistan will need to talk to people in Azad Kashmir (Sic). Then, people of Kashmir and Azad Kashmir should talk to each other. It was decided earlier also… (Sic),” said Abdullah, flanked by his son and former chief minister Omar Abdullah and senior party leaders.

Reiterating that Kashmir was a dispute Abdullah, the MP from Srinagar and former chief minister, said talks have been held on Kashmir right from the time of Jawahar lal Nehru, the first Prime Minister.

“(Prime Minister Narendra) Modi also went there (Pakistan) and talked to them,” said Abdullah.

He said now they (Government of India) were saying that talks can be held only when militancy ends. “See what is happening in Afghanistan. Talks are going on amid bullets. It will have a result,” said Abdullah.  

“Why don’t they adopt the same policy here? They will have to talk to Pakistan and the Prime Minister will have to talk to people here and Pakistan Prime Minister will have to talk to people of that Kashmir,” said Abdullah.

He said final resolution of Kashmir should satisfy all stakeholders. The end result of the talks on Kashmir, Abdullah said, should be such that nobody involved in these talks should feel to have ended up on the losing side.

The National Conference leader said there was no alternative to dialogue on Kashmir. “Nothing can be achieved through military might or coercion including by the NIA,” he said. “This issue will continue to be there unless it is resolved by talking to people.”

Asked if talks should be held with Hurriyat Conference, Abdullah said dialogue should be held with everyone.

Abdullah said India was a country for all irrespective of their religion. “But this country has started to change now. It is not the same India what it was in 1947. They want to change map of this country. They want Hindustan for Hindus only,” he said.

He cautioned people against decision of RSS to set up shakhas in Kashmir. “We will have to make people aware about it,” he said.

He demanded revocation of an order to restrict movement of civilian vehicles on a stretch of Srinagar-Jammu national highway because of the ongoing Amarnath Yatra.

“We raised this issue in Parliament also. This order is wrong and should be revoked,” he said.

Abdullah criticized Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Khan for his statement that there was no restriction on civilian traffic on highway amid the ongoing Amarnath Yatra.

“I saw the statement of the Divisional Commissioner that there is no ban. This is a lie. I travelled (on highway) and saw how people are being stopped. I ask Divisional Commissioner that whenever you give any statement present truth to the people,” Abdullah said.