No substitute for dialogue, says Farooq Abdullah

National Conference president Farooq Abdullah. File   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

National Conference president Farooq Abdullah on July 25 said there was no substitute for dialogue, and called upon India and Pakistan “to be consistent, coherent and serious in their nascent engagement”.

“There is no substitute for dialogue. The moves and the messages indicating a thaw in relations between the neighbouring countries did put brakes on the escalating tensions. Both the countries should ensure that people of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh live a life free from unending miseries,” Dr. Abdullah, who was addressing party workers in Kulgam, said.

He emphasised that his party had all along been a strong votary of Indo-Pak. dialogue, and underlined that the dialogue should result in J&K-centric confidence building measures.

“It will indeed help the two countries solve their disagreements amicably and in an objective manner for the greater good of the people of J&K, Ladakh and the entire region,” he said.

The statement of Dr. Abdullah, president of the five-party Gupkar Alliance, comes a month after the alliance’s engagement with the Centre “failed to bring any change on the ground or saw any push on Kashmir-specific CBMs”. It’s Dr. Abdullah’s first major political statement since he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 24 in New Delhi.

He stressed that a result-oriented dialogue between India and Pakistan will benefit the people of J&K the most. “Both the nations, I have maintained all along, have to live side by side. It is up to them, if they want to live as enemies or supportive friends and partners in development. Both countries can achieve much by joining hands in progress,” he added.

He said if the ties between the two nations were to improve then they have to come out of their shells and narrow down the space of their differences and source of conflict.

“They should get together on the table to work towards an environment that recognises the concept of J&K’s historical individuality, uniqueness of its socio-political layers and restoration of its political dignity and historical selfhood,” he added.

The former Chief Minister said both the countries cannot win a war against each other. “It is sooner both the neighbouring countries realise the ground reality. The more serious, coherent and consistent the dialogue, the better,” Dr. Abdullah said.

He said there was a lesson to draw from the worrying disadvantages of disunity. “The last person out there in Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh is looking up to us with sheer optimism that we will salvage the entire region from murderous manifestations of communalism, and regionalism and to catapult the people from the prevailing economic distress, and instability,” he added.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 6:15:16 PM |

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