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Autonomy to both sides of Jammu and Kashmir only solution: Farooq Abdullah

National Conference president Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday said autonomy to both sides of Jammu and Kashmir is the only viable solution to the decades-old problem.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah

National Conference president Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday said autonomy to both sides of Jammu and Kashmir is the only viable solution to the decades-old problem.

Abdullah, who was addressing a public meet at Bhaderwah making borders irrelevant is the solution to nearly seven-decade-old Kashmir problem. “Borders cannot be changed but these can be made irrelevant and soft for people to people exchange and opening new vistas of trade and commerce for overall economic prosperity of the region,” Abdullah said.

He said that National Conference bats for autonomy to both sides of Kashmir and converting LoC-International Border as a soft border. Claiming that issues between India and Pakistan can’t be resolved with guns and cannons he said, “It has been proved by four wars, but these can definitely be deliberated upon for amicable solution through a sustained process of dialogue.”

He said that reality of LoC and International Border between the two nations could not be challenged at the strength of military power and therefore the two parts of the state should be granted maximum autonomy.

In the context of current volatile relations between India and Pakistan, he referred to Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee speech in Tangdhar, emphasising that friends can be changed but not the neighbours.

He cautioned the Centre against delaying the resolution of political issue of Kashmir, saying restoration of the commitments made in the Instrument of Accession is the only way forward to help the state come out of prevailing crisis. He said the state of Jammu and Kashmir had acceded to India on three subjects of defence, foreign affairs and communication.

Abdullah claimed that discontent among people in Kashmir was due to the breaking of promises and said that mistrust among youth is deep-rooted.

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