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NC Patron Dr Farooq Abdullah     File Photo
Dr Farooq Abdullah

National Conference President and former Union Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah on Sunday batted strongly for normalization of relations between Indian sub-continent nations while emphasizing the need for carving out a situation where people can move around freely like European Union (EU).

“If EU could do it, why not India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other neighbouring countries,” Dr Farooq Abdullah said in his key note address at a day-long conference, organised by Bangladesh Bharat Pakistan Peace Forum (BBPPF) on the importance of peace and unity initiatives between tri-nations at Youth Hostel, Nagrota early this morning.

Dr Abdullah hoped the sub-continent nations would eschew myopic tendencies and hostilities and work for an enabling environment for generations to lead a peaceful and dignified life. “How long shall the hostilities of past cast dark shadow on present and future in a fast changing global scenario,” he asked, saying the people of this continent too have a right to grow in free and fearless environment.

He said the era of mistrust and suspicion has retarded growth of sub-continent countries and this disgusting situation needed to be ended, sooner the better.

National Conference President particularly called for a sustained Indo-Pak dialogue, saying hostility between the two nations has impacted peace and tranquility in Jammu and Kashmir. He said the state will be the biggest beneficiary of peace in the region, as it has witnessed a horrified saga of instability and bloodshed due to border tensions and the cult of militancy.

Dr Abdullah squarely blamed western powers “for promoting terror scourge” and said the world at large has suffered due to it hugely.

He said the two nations cannot wish away each other and therefore New Delhi and Islamabad must seriously and purposefully get engaged to take the peace initiative forward. He hoped that the two countries will take concrete measures to continue the dialogue process for lasting peace, saying confrontations had no place in bilateral relations.

Dr Farooq Abdullah reiterated his unflinching commitment to secularism, saying this has been cornerstone of the National Conference policies, which hugely strengthened the bonds between the people of the three regions. He said unity in diversity has been biggest strength of the state and cautioned people against those who wanted to disturb this time tested ethos. He said National Conference will stand like a rock against those who will even think of polluting the composite culture of Jammu and Kashmir.

The former Chief Minister complimented people for keeping the flame of secularism aloft during most testing times and said this cherished ideal alone can lead the state to peace, progress and development. While emphasising the need for strengthening this spirit, he called for channelizing the energies of youth towards positive pursuits. “This can be achieved only when the young people are provided vistas of opportunities to excel in academics, pursue their avocations in a peaceful atmosphere and by generating avenues of jobs for them”, he maintained. (KNS)


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