Farooq backs Hurriyat, says NC stands with their ‘struggle’

Written by | December 6, 2016 | 0

New Delhi: National Conference president and former Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah has kicked up a huge storm by declaring support for the separatist Hurriyat Conference. Urging party workers not to stay away from “this (Hurriyat) struggle”, he said, “We are a part of this struggle.”

Farooq said his party was not against the Hurriyat Conference and supported the “Kashmiri people’s demand for their rights”. He took caution to mention that the National Conference would “not tread the wrong path” for achieving “these goals”.

His controversial remarks are bound to create political discomfort in both Srinagar and New Delhi, and will no doubt be seized upon by Pakistan and its proxies in the Valley to push their envelope on Kashmir.

Farooq was addressing his party workers at a function to commemorate the 111th birth anniversary of his father and National Conference founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah at Hazratbal.

He asked the Hurriyat leaders not to go separate ways saying “be united and we are also standing with you”. “Do not think of us as your enemies, we are not. But we are not ready to tread the wrong path. So, I am telling you from this sacred place that you (Hurriyat) move forward, we are with you till your steps are on the right track and till you take this nation forward in a right manner,” he said.

However, later talking to reporters, Abdullah said the issue was not whether he was with the Hurriyat or not.

“This agitation which talks about demanding the rights of the people of Kashmir, NC is with them on this to the extent of them talking about rights. We neither were nor are against (demanding) the rights,” he said.

The former Union minister said the people talking of “freedom” were indulging in propaganda.

He also said the “fire” in the Valley would not be extinguished till India and Pakistan do justice with the people of the state. “Remember this; till this fire is there, it cannot be extinguished till India and Pakistan do justice with us, with the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. The more they try to extinguish this fire, the more it will rise,” he said.

He asked his party workers not to be away from “this struggle”. “We are a part of this struggle. We have fought regularly for the interests of this Valley,” he said.

Responding to his criticism by the BJP over his recent remarks over India’s claim on PoK, Abdullah said he has never spoken anything against the country.

“Farooq Abdullah has never spoken anything anti-national. This (Kashmir) issue is not my creation. This issue is from 1948, it is not anything new. It is still in the UN Security Council. It is in the agreement between India and Pakistan which Indira Gandhi as Prime Minister of India and Zulfikar Bhutto as Prime Minister of Pakistan signed that Kashmir issue would be resolved through dialogue,” he said.

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