Kashmir in 1996-like situation: Farooq Abdullah
President National Conference and member parliament Dr Farooq Abdullah Thursday said the prevailing situation in Kashmir was similar to that of 1996, and that he was ready to take the challenge to set the things right.
“There were no schools in 1996, no bridges; government offices would not work as people feared going out of cities. The unemployment was at its peak,” Abdullah told party workers here on the occasion of welcoming some fresh entrants to NC.
“In 1996, my own party’s leaders would fear going out of towns and cities, but I gave them courage to get the state back on track because I wanted to serve the people and save the state from the destruction,” he said.
“Same is the situation today, and I am ready to take the challenge again,” he said.
The former chief minister said his government in 1996 provided employment to around 1.5 lakh people.
He promised 33 percent reservation for women in the state legislature, like Odisha has done, if NC wins the upcoming assembly elections with absolute majority.
“The chief minister of Odisha wrote me a letter in Delhi telling me that his government has empowered women with 33% reservation. I also assure you today that if NC will be voted to power, I will also give 33% reservation to women in State legislatures,” he said.
The veteran NC leader also advocated “preserving” status quo on Kashmir and dialogue between India and Pakistan.
“Let me be very clear about it. The status quo of the borders between India and Pakistan shall remain. Pakistani leaders too have to think about this and sit on table for dialogue with India to sort out all the issues once and for all so that there is lasting peace in their country also,” Dr Farooq said.