Kokernag Gunfight: Farooq Abdullah Calls For Indo-Pak Talks

   

SRINAGAR: National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah emphasised the necessity of dialogue between India and Pakistan to bring an end to violence and secure lasting peace in Jammu and Kashmir. He also underscored the futility of resorting to wars to resolve issues, both historically and in the foreseeable future.

“Such incidents will continue if there is no dialogue. We are fools if we think that it (violence) will stop. We will keep losing lives There is no way but dialogue. Both countries should give up their stubbornness and hold talks,” Abdullah said while speaking to reporters after visiting the family of Humayun Bhat, the deputy superintendent of the Jammu and Kashmir Police, who lost his life in the line of duty during a gunbattle in Anantnag.

Bhat, along with two other security officers, Colonel Manpreet Singh and Major Ashish Dhonchak, lost their lives in an encounter with militants in the Kokernag area of Anantnag district on Wednesday.

Regarding the remarks made by some Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders about reclaiming Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoJK), Abdullah reiterated the point that wars have not resolved issues in the past and will not bring about peace in the future. He said, “Let them do it. Who is stopping them? I will not stop. If they feel that it will end the problem, they should do it. Let me make it clear that no issue can be resolved by confrontation. Pakistan has fought four wars, and the borders are still in place.”

Abdullah criticised the BJP-led Centre for asserting that militancy had ended in Jammu and Kashmir. He remarked, “It is a big loss for the family and the country. You have seen that a colonel and a major have also been martyred, besides this young DSP. There is no doubt that this destruction has been going on for long, but I do not see an end to it. The government is shouting that terrorism has ended. You tell me, has it ended?”

Reiterating his stance on the resumption of dialogue, Abdullah cited the Ukraine conflict as an example. “Look at the situation in Ukraine. There is destruction everywhere. For establishing peace, Russia and Ukraine will have to hold talks,” he stated.

When asked about advocating talks with Pakistan, Abdullah clarified, “The talks will have to be between the two countries that are at loggerheads. There is no point talking to me. This problem has been there since India became independent.”

Responding to questions about Pakistan’s role in creating unrest in Jammu and Kashmir, Abdullah pointed out that Pakistan has consistently rejected the status quo. “How does it matter? Pakistan has been saying that they do not accept it. They throw the UN resolutions at you. What will you tell them? They are saying we do not accept this decision,” he added.

While acknowledging that he lacked the authority to shed light on the origin of the militants, Abdullah suggested that recent incidents indicated they were highly trained and potentially from a country other than Pakistan. “I am neither in the intelligence nor in the government, so I cannot say where they come from. But they are coming, and they are coming fully trained. I fear that these foreign terrorists might be from another country; they are so well trained,” he expressed.

When asked if he was insinuating the involvement of Afghans, Abdullah declined to point fingers at anyone and emphasised the imminent danger that needs to be confronted. “Those who need to understand will understand. There is a danger, an imminent danger. We have to face this every day. Our people are dying, our jawans are dying,” he concluded.

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