Kashmir will never be a part of Pakistan, says Farooq Abdullah
Conference leader and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah
has rejected the notion that the threat of a nuclear war would solve the
Kashmir issue, asserting that the region would never be a part of Pakistan and
dialogue is the best way to “move forward”.
Admitting that Kashmir
has been the main agenda as far as India and Pakistan are concerned, Abdullah
said, “What is important is dialogue between the two nations to get to some
point of understanding.
“There is no way, by
threats of war or using atom bomb and saying we have nuclear weapon, that does
not solve the problem. What we have to do is find ways and means, whether it is
Track II or III, to get to some position of understanding.
“One thing is
absolutely clear: borders won’t change how much countries want to change it,
borders will not change.”
Abdullah said this
while participating in a programme titled “A Conversation on Jammu and Kashmir”
with former R&AW chief AS Dulat, who has also authored a book titled “Kashmir:
The Vajpayee Years’ last night.
Abdullah said, “They
(Pakistan) are not going to get Kashmir even if they try over the sky. That is
not going to happen. So why cause further miseries for nothing. Why don’t they
realise it is the Muslim population dying this side and Muslim population that
is dying that side.
“They bomb us and we
bomb them. It is the innocent people who die. How long? 65 years. Enough. I
would like to tell both India and Pakistan, for God’s sake. Enough is enough.
Let us get together and move forward rather than live in tragedies.”
cancellation of NSA-level talks between India and Pakistan last month, Pakistan’s
National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz accused India of considering itself a
regional power, forgetting that Pakistan is ‘nuclear power’.
“Modi’s India acts as
if they are a regional superpower, but we are also a nuclear-armed country and
we know how to defend ourselves,” Aziz had said.
Earlier this month,
Pakistan Army chief General Raheel Sharif termed Kashmir an “unfinished agenda”
and warned India of “unbearable damage” in case of a “long or short” war.
“If the enemy ever
resorts to any misadventure, regardless of its size and scale short or long it
will have to pay an unbearable cost,” he had said in his address to mark the
50th anniversary of the 1965 war with India on September 7.
questions, Abdullah said “the truth is, Kashmir is never going to be part of
Pakistan, whether Farooq Abdullah lives or dies. It is never going to happen in
many centuries to come. So let us draw a different friendship. Come and enjoy
Gulmarg, Pehlgam and the gardens Mughals made. Come and enjoy the Kashmiri
dishes we cook. Give something to us as tourists.
“I would love to see
the day I can drive right through to Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore. My
grandfather, my uncle are buried in Lahore. I cannot go there. When I die you
cannot stop my soul from going there.”
Referring to partition,
Abdullah said that a number of innocent people had died on both sides. “They
had nothing to do with it but they got caught into it. We don’t want another
holocaust of that nature. Forget please, innocent people will die if anything
“We had four wars
between the two nations, the line (border) still stands there and we continue
to suffer.” He also made a case for boosting tourism in Jammu and Kashmir which
has been troubled by the tension between the two countries, saying the state
has been bestowed with the “beauty of the land.”
“Basically we have no
industry (in Kashmir). The only industry God has given is the beauty of the
land. That needs tourists to come so that they could come and enjoy the beauty.
At the same time our handicrafts are known all over the world. They would make
some forward movement (if there is peace).
“But when you have
troubles and tragedies and innocent people are dying then who will come.”
Abdullah told the
gathering which included journalists from Pakistan that even though the Nawaz
Sharif may be the Prime Minister of Pakistan “the real rulers are the Pakistani
“They are fundamental
and unless you have an Army General in Command there I don’t think you will be
able to move forward.
“I don’t believe
America is going to be any help to us because they sell their guns to Pakistan
as well as to India. They sell their helicopters, their military weapons and
they will continue to do so. We will kill each other, they make the money. We
face tragedy every day. Let’s call it a day. Why cannot India and Pakistan live
Dulat, who headed the
Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) till 2000 and later became special
adviser to the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Kashmir, claimed
that former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had lost a window of opportunity
during Musharraf’s regime to reach a settlement on Kashmir.
“I don’t think there
has been a leader in Pakistan who has been as reasonable on Kashmir as Gen
Musharraf was,” said the IPS officer of 1965 batch of Rajasthan cadre. (With inputs