Army not the solution to Kashmir problem: Farooq Abdullah

Kolkata: Former Jammu and Kashmir National Conference President Farooq Abdullah on Friday said Army is not the solution to end the India-Pakistan dispute over Kashmir and urged the Centre to first resolve country’s internal problems through discussions.

He also said Pakistan should put an end to terrorism first to build a foundation for developing the relationship between the two neighbours.

Terming the current situation in the country as “volatile and dangerous”, he claimed BJP’s attempts to create hatred among people in the name of religion are further complicating the matters between Hindus and Muslims.

“This government has taken a stand to run J&K with the Army, but Army is not the solution to our problem. Showering bullets will not be able to bring back peace in the Valley. It will further distance the youth of Kashmir from the nation,” said Abdullah responding to a question during a chat session titled ‘My Life and My Times’ at the Bharat Chamber of Commerce here.

Abdullah was asked whether he thought the dispute between India and Pakistan over Kashmir would get resolved.

“Our own home is on fire. We must figure out how to settle our own home. The hatred they (BJP) are creating in the name of religion, is making things more complex between Hindus and Muslims. The Muslims today do not feel that they belong to this country. We first need to find the way to solve the internal problems within the nation through dialogues,” he said.

“If India can manage to solve the internal problems, Pakistan would not be able to cause any harm,” he added.

The National Conference leader also said neither Pakistan nor India would be able to take away any territory from each other’s possession.

“Pakistan should end terrorism… no matter how many economic corridors we build between the two nations, it would not develop the relationship unless there is an end to terrorism,” he said.

Abdullah hoped that a new regime at the Centre might be able to find some solution to the Indo-Pak dispute in Kashmir as the dynamics between the two nations and their allies have changed.

“Kashmir issue is not confined to just between India and Pakistan. Earlier America was extremely pro-Pakistan. That has changed. The only country that is backing Pakistan is China. They are doing so for their own interest,” he said.

“I think they (Pakistan) are also tired. Their great helpers, the Americans, have walked out. So they have also realised that things are not the same. It is a question of a new government. Whichever government comes to power, I am sure there would be progress in this regard,” Abdullah said.