Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah has said that India should approach third parties such as the United States and China to mediate in the Kashmir issue. The statement on Friday comes at a time when Indian and Chinese soldiers are involved one of the longest standoffs in the Sikkim region. According to Adbullah, India has many allies, which can be approached to act as a mediator between India and Pakistan to settle the Kashmir issue.
“For how long are you going to wait? Sometimes, you have to pull the bull by its horns. The way is to have a dialogue. India has so many friends all across the world. They can ask them to act as a mediator. U.S. President Trump himself said that he wants to settle Kashmir problem. China also said that it wants to mediate in Kashmir. Somebody has to be approached,” ANI reported Abdullah as saying. “If India is ready to talk to China and does not want to get into a war, then they can talk to Pakistan also,” he added.
Abdullah also quoted a statement of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee – Friends can be changed, but not neighbours – to say that arrogance and stubbornness cannot let a country progress. “The stubbornness, exhibited by both the nations, will not lead us anywhere. Remember what Atal Bihari said, ‘Friends can be changed, but not neighbours. One can move forward while maintaining friendship or can regress by becoming enemies,'” he said.
My father isn’t a Congress party member & doesn’t need it’s permission or approval before he voices his opinion. It’s called free speech. https://t.co/uNJQAkviXY
— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) July 21, 2017
Farooq’s statement raised a political storm, but he found a supporter in his son Omar Abdullah, who is also a former Jammu and Kashmir CM.
In a tweet, Omar said his father’s remarks were presented with a “twist” and its :original intent” distorted. “This is what I mean – twist remarks out of shape so that the original intent and message is completely distorted,” Omar tweeted.
Meanwhile, Congress vice-president has refuted Farroq’s suggestion that a third party can be approached for the settlement of Kashmir issue. “I have been asserting for long that it’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his policies at the Centre that have destroyed Jammu and Kashmir. And the point that is being mentioned that a third party’s intervention should be invited for the settlement of the issue, it’s wrong. India is Kashmir and Kashmir is India,” Rahul told reporters. “It’s our internal matter and no other country should have any say in it,” he added.
On Rahul’s comment, Omar tweeted, “My father isn’t a Congress party member & doesn’t need it’s permission or approval before he voices his opinion. It’s called free speech.”
Earlier, Farooq had expressed concern over the ongoing tension in the Kashmir and appealed to the Government to bring the perpetrators to justice. “If the youth of tomorrow are targetted today, how will they run the nation? I would like to urge the Government to expose the perpetrators,” he said, adding, “We are being sandwiched. People die every day. The situation is worse in the Valley,” he added.