Kashmir will never become Pakistan as we are a part of India and will remain so even if I am killed, National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah said in Srinagar on Wednesday.
Speaking at a condolence meeting for Supinder Kaur – the fallen principal of a government school in Eidgah who was shot dead by militants on October 7 – at a gurdwara in Srinagar, Mr. Abdullah said the people of Kashmir have to be courageous and fight the killers together.
“We have to fight these beasts. This [Kashmir] will never become Pakistan, remember it. We are a part of India and we will remain a part of India come what may. They cannot change it even if they shoot me,” Mr. Abdullah, the Member of Lok Sabha from Srinagar, said.
Expressing grief over Kaur’s killing, he said the Sikh community did not leave the Kashmir Valley in the 1990s when others left due to fear and appealed to them to not get scared now. We have to keep our morale high and be courageous, he said.
“We all have to fight them together with courage and not be afraid. You [Sikhs] were the only community which remained here when everyone left. I am proud of the fact that you did not leave from here. Killing a teacher who was teaching young students does not serve Islam. They were serving the devil,” he said.
Talking to reporters outside the gurdwara, the NC president said: “They [militants] will never succeed and will fail in their plans. But, we all – Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Christians – have to stand together to fight them”.
Mr. Abdullah said there is a “storm of hate” across India and communities – Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs – “are being divided”.
“This divisive politics has to be stopped, otherwise India will cease to exist. If we have to save India, then we all have to live together and only then will it move forward,” he said.
Asked about leader Devender Rana quitting the NC and joining the BJP, Mr. Abdullah said: “People come and go. It is not a big deal”.