Make the first move, Farooq Abdullah tells J&K separatists

Last Updated 08 September 2012, 20:02 IST

National Conference president and Union Minister Farooq Abdullah on Saturday advised moderate separatists to make the first move towards initiating a dialogue with the Indian government.

“They (separatists) should move forward rather than expecting the Central Government to come to them with a begging bowl for dialogue,” Abdullah told reporters after offering obeisance at the grave of his father and NC founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, on his 30th death anniversary, at Hazratbal here.

However, the Union minister indicated that the separatists should contain their demands within the realm of the Constitution. “Kashmir cannot be separated from India as it is an integral part of the country and will remain so forever,” he said.

Talks bring hopes

On the foreign minister level talks between India and Pakistan, Abdullah was hopeful on the two countries initiating some important confidence building measures, which may pave the way for a resolution on the Kashmir issue.

Meanwhile, the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) patron and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed expressed satisfaction over the continuation of dialogue between India and Pakistan.

In a statement, Mufti said: “Unless the peace process is redirected to J&K specific measures as had happened in 2003, the dialogue will lack meaning for the people of this state who are the main stakeholders in reconciliation between the two countries.”

The PDP patron said the people of J&K are looking forward to implementation of the decisions taken by the two foreign ministers last year, on cross LOC trade and travel.

“Though it is a welcome move to ease the general visa regime between the two countries and allowing investment in each other’s business ventures, the inability to implement decisions pertaining to J&K has come as a huge disappointment here,” he said.

(Published 08 September 2012, 20:02 IST)

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