National Conference President and former Union Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah on Monday pitched for autonomy to both sides of Jammu and Kashmir, saying this is only viable and realistic solution to nearly seven decade problem that has cast dark shadows over the generations.
“We owe peace and dignified life to posterity and that can be achieved only by converting the present dividing line between the two neighbouring countries into line of peace”, Dr Abdullah said while addressing workers at Budhal, during the second-leg of his three-day tour to Rajouri and Poonch districts.
Dr Abdullah said hostilities of past nearly seventy years have retarded growth of people on both sides of the line of control and time has come when India and Pakistan should take a bold initiative by calling a spade a spade. He referred to the wars of the past and continued border skirmishes, saying these have only added to the miseries of people of Kashmir, who have faced major brunt of turmoil during the past over two and half decades.
“The soft borders would open up vistas of economic opportunities besides enabling hassle free exchange of people, which in turn will be a major dividend to peace and tranquillity in the region”, the National Conference President said, hoping that good sense will prevail upon all the stake holders. He said denial of autonomy has brought Jammu and Kashmir to present morass, which if ignored anymore can prove detrimental to larger interests of the state. In this context, he referred to the resolution passed by the Legislative Assembly over a decade and half ago, saying that was reflective of the urges and aspirations of the regions and sub-regions of the state.
Dr Abdullah also spoke in length over the fall-out of divisive policies being pursued by the present dispensation at the Centre and said politics of hate and intolerance is against the very idea of India. He said India was abode of people belonging to different faiths and they cannot be brought eye-ball to eye-ball situation for petty politics and furthering any definite political agenda.
Referring to the implementation of ill-conceived National Food Security Act, the former Chief Minister said this has harmed the interests of poor rationees and deprived many of much-needed food support. He said the National Conference led government did not implement the Act because of its being anti-poor in nature. He sought immediate rollback of the NFSA and release of rations to consumers on previous scale.
Prominent among those present included Additional General Secretary, Dr Sheikh Mustafa Kamal, State Vice President Mr Rattan Lal Gupta, Provincial Youth National Conference President Mr Ajaz Jan besides Mirza Rashid, Mr Pradeep Bali, Farooq Mughal, Choudhary Liaqat, Shafiqat Khan, Bashir Wani, Ab Gani Malik, , Ch Shafi, Shafqat Mir.