Only autonomy can resolve Kashmir issue: Farooq Abdullah

Only autonomy can resolve Kashmir issue: Farooq Abdullah

Opposition National Conference (NC) president and former Union minister Farooq Abdullah on Saturday said granting autonomy to both sides of Kashmir under the existing set-up would resolve the Kashmir issue.

“They (Pakistan) don’t have powers to take away this side of Kashmir from us and we (India) don’t have powers to get back that side of Kashmir from them. Let them (Pakistan) keep that side of Kashmir and let us govern this side of Kashmir, and then grant autonomy to both sides to resolve Kashmir,” Abdullah told reporters after paying tributes to his father and party founder Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah on his 110th birth anniversary here.

He said the conferences and the dialogue processes haven’t yielded any result on Kashmir issue. “That is why I believe autonomy will resolve the issue. Then we can, in real sense, open roads for trade, travel and tourism,” he said adding even former prime minister late Jawaharlal Nehru had proposed the autonomy idea to his Pakistani counterpart Liyaqat Ali Khan. “But he (Khan) did not agree,” the NC president said.

The former Union minister said the BJP was raising hue and cry on Kashmir. “But Atal (Behari Vapayee) Ji told me once after his Pakistan visit that he had proposed the same autonomy formula to (his counterpart) Nawaz Sharif. But his generals might not have agreed to it,” he said.

The senior Abdullah said former Pakistan minister for foreign affairs Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri, too, advocated autonomy to both sides within the control of respective countries as a solution to Kashmir, during his recent visit to New Delhi for launching his book.
DH News Service

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