Army is not the solution for Kashmir: Farooq Abdullah

National Conference president Farooq Abdullah said India has to overcome its reluctance to hold talks with Pakistan at the diplomatic level to restore peace in the Valley. PTI file photo

Former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Farooq Abdullah on Friday said that the army is not the solution to the Kashmir issue and India has to overcome its reluctance to hold talks with Pakistan at the diplomatic level to restore peace in the Valley.

"The solution to the problem is not the army. As for India, it cannot anymore afford to be reluctant in holding talks with Pakistan at the diplomatic level,” he said while addressing the gathering at a conference in Kolkata.

He also said that Pakistan must stop indulging in terrorism because of which the people of Jammu and Kashmir are suffering. “Earlier Pakistan was supported by the USA. But since the USA has withdrawn its support, Pakistan is getting backing from China,” said Abdullah.

Abdullah also demanded that the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) has to be lifted from the Valley and be enforced only at the border.

As for the next Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, he ruled out any possibility of an alliance between his party and the PDP and said that the NC wants to win as the single largest party in the polls. “If the results turned to be otherwise then we will explore different avenues,” said Abdullah.

Accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of using the “divisive politics” religion he said that this was jeopardising democratic values in the country.

He further alleged that the Ram Mandir issue was being used to get votes and said that lynching over beef consumption must be stopped immediately.

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