Published On: Fri, Jul 21st, 2017

Farooq Abdullah toes Pak line, seeks US, China mediation on Kashmir issue

New Delhi: Jammu & Kashmir National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah said on Friday that India should turn to third parties, such as the United States and China, to mediate in the Kashmir issue.

Abdullah’s statement has not gone down well with the ruling BJP-PDP government in J&K

He was responding to reporters who asked if he desired a third party to intervene in the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

“For how long are you going to wait? Sometimes, you have to catch the bull by the horns. War means annihilation, as they (Pakistan) have atomic bombs, just like we do. The way (to resolve the issue) is through dialogue,” Abdullah said.

The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister added that India has many allies across the globe, who can be approached to act as intermediators to help settle the Kashmir issue.

“(US President Donald) Trump himself has said he wants to settle the Kashmir problem. We didn’t tell him. Even China said they want to mediate on Kashmir. You have to use someone for the talks,” Abdullah said here.

Abdullah’s statement has not gone down well with the ruling BJP-PDP government in J&K.

Reacting to Abdullah’s utterances, J&K Deputy CM Nirmal Singh said, “When he was chief minister, he’d talked of attacking Pakistan. Why this two-faced approach?”

Contrary to Farooq’s opinion, Congress, which plays the role of Opposition in the J&K Legislative Assembly along with the NC, distanced itself from Abdullah’s remarks, with party vice-president Rahul Gandhi refuting outright the possibility of third-party intervention in the Kashmir conundrum.

“The point that is being mentioned that a third party’s intervention should be invited for the settlement of the issue, it’s wrong. India is Kashmir and Kashmir is India. It’s our internal matter and no other country should have any say in it,” Rahul said.

Earlier, Rahul Gandhi also blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government’s policies for the volatile situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

“I have been saying this for a long time that Modiji and the NDA policies have set Jammu and Kashmir on fire,” Gandhi told reporters here.

“It is being said that talks should be held with China and Pakistan over Kashmir. But Kashmir is India and India is Kashmir.”

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