Farooq Abdullah

Farooq Abdullah urges India to accept Pakistan’s invitation for dialogue on Kashmir

National Conference President Farooq Abdullah Saturday asked the Indian government to accept Pakistan’s invitation for dialogue on Kashmir to resolve the ‘complex issue’ for lasting peace in the region.

“The central government should consider the Pakistani invite for dialogue on Kashmir as a golden opportunity and extend its hand,” said Abdullah, who is currently in London, in a statement issued here.

The former chief minister asked the Centre to give up its ‘ego and rigidity’, accept the Pakistani invitation and start a ‘meaningful and solid’ dialogue process to find a lasting solution to this long standing ‘complex problem’ for an everlasting peace in the region.

The former union minister, however, urged India and Pakistan to involve Kashmiris from both sides in the dialogue process for its success.

“Without the participation of Kashmiris, the (success of the) dialogue is impossible. Therefore, India and Pakistan should take into confidence the people on both sides of Kashmir before starting a meaningful dialogue,” he said.

He said the peace would return to Jammu and Kashmir in particular and south Asian region in general only after the Kashmir issue is treated as a ‘political issue’ and India and Pakistan initiate peace talks to resolve it ‘permanently’.

“As long as the two neighbouring countries continue to delay the resolution of this long-standing issue, the lurking threat to peace will continue to haunt the region with each passing day,” Abdullah said.

Condemning the continued ‘curfew, restrictions and excessive use of force’ on people, he said: “it is impossible to restore peace in the valley by use of brute force”.

“Atrocities, bloodshed, indiscriminate and unjustified use of force, arrests, beating of people and ransacking of houses to suppress the people will only deteriorate the situation further,” he said, adding people around the globe are condemning and protesting over the happenings in Kashmir.

He appealed to put an immediate end to the ‘bloodshed and atrocities’.

Abdullah also appealed to President Pranab Mukherjee to intervene and take necessary steps to stop ‘human rights violations’ in the valley and make the state Governor and a government answerable.

“The BJP coming to power has encouraged the forces who are unleashing such atrocities on the people which have no example in the past,” he said, adding his party has forewarned the people about the happenings if the right-wing party comes to power in the state.

“The time has vindicated it,” he said, adding “BJP’s basic agenda is to revoke article 370 of the Constitution and change the demography of the Muslim-majority state”.

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