Srinagar, Nov 15: National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah today said Jammu and Kashmir had acceded to secular India and not to a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ and urged New Delhi and Islamabad to start dialogue to end the cross-border firing by the armies of both the countries.
He also said that restoration of autonomy was the only constitutional remedy for the resolution of Kashmir issue.
“Dialogue is the only way forward and (restoration of) autonomy (to the state) is the only real solution (to resolve Kashmir issue),” he said at the meeting of the party’s working committee of Ganderbal district unit at the party headquarters here.
According to a party press release issued here, Abdullah said New Delhi was bound to make provisions to grant autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir and “this was a guarantee that has time and again been clarified with the representatives of the government of India.”
“Jammu and Kashmir had acceded to secular India and not to a ‘Hindu Rashtra’. Autonomy is the only workable solution to the Kashmir issue. Autonomy remains only constitutional remedy to Kashmir issue and there was nothing ‘unconstitutional’ about it,” the former Chief Minister said hitting out at the reported recent comments of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat in Jammu.
“The very basis of our relationship with India is based on secular nature of the country,” he added.
Calling himself as staunch believer in autonomy as an “achievable goal, a dream that will see light of the day”, Abdullah said “for the love I have for the people of this state, I will never show them a dream that cannot be fulfilled”.
The former CM said autonomy for the state was “political statement” of his party and it would never barter it.
Expressing his anger against violence on both sides along the Line of Control, he said force of any kind was not going to help either India or Pakistan.
“Whose writ is this force going to establish?” he asked and advised both the nations to pull people out of the misery that the violence had pushed them into.
While dismissing as ‘propaganda’ spread by political parties that were ready to “sell their soul for power”, Abdullah said history was a witness to the fact that Kashmir’s accession to India was conditional.
“Karan Singh has been bold enough to clarify for all those spreading misgivings about our accession to India. He has said time and again said that his father acceded to India on the basis of three conditions,” Abdullah said.
Without naming any party, Abdullah called upon the people of Kashmir to be wary of people whose aim is to use “divisive strategies” to divide people.
“We need to look inside at our conscience and reject the ideas of the conspirators. We need to rise to the occasion and expose the falsehood that is being spread against the party,” he said.