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Abdullah advocates dialogue with Pak to end militancy in J&K

(Asian News Hub) – National Conference president Farooq Abdullah on Sunday advocated dialogue with Pakistan to end militancy in Jammu and Kashmir, saying friendship holds the key to development in the region.

“Militancy is still prevalent (in Jammu and Kashmir) contrary to their (BJPs) claim that we have finished it. If we want to finish it, we have to talk with our neighbour,” Abdullah said.

Talking to reporters during a visit to a market here, the former chief minister of the erstwhile state remembered former Prime Minister A B Vajpayee”s words “you can change your friends but not your neighbours” and said “either we grow friendship and prosper or continue the enmity, then there will be no prosperity”.

He was responding to a question about the militant attack on police in Bhagat locality of Srinagar on February 19, which left two policemen dead.

“This is the reality of the day. I appeal to the government to adopt the same approach as they had with China over the standoff in Ladakh and started withdrawal of its troops. The same is needed here to pull out J&K from this (militancy),” he said.

Abdullah said the world has shrunk and the country like rest of the world is fighting coronavirus. “We have to solve this issue as well.”

Asked whether he is hopeful of success of the ongoing Indo-China talks, the NC leader said “the issue is big because this line is not defined and so there are differences between the two powerful countries”.

“Both the countries need to sit and define this line (Line of Actual Control) so that the issue is settled forever. Both the countries are powerful and the key to development lies in the friendship,” he said.

Responding to a question on increasing petrol prices, Abdullah said, “I want to request the government to review its decision and reverse the hike to allow the poor to live”.

“I heard they are buying it (petrol) at Rs 30 per litre and if they are selling it at Rs 100 per litre to the people, it is wrong. Where the middle class that has a fixed income would go? They have to run the household, pay school fees of their children, and take care of the sick as well. It (the government) has pushed the whole country into the crisis and needs to act fast to set it (petrol prices) right,” he said.

Asked about his party boycotting the delimitation commission meeting, Abdullah said “we have already said that what they have done on August 5 (2019) we have not accepted it. When we have not accepted that, how could we accept delimitation commission for J&K.”

On August 5, 2019, the Centre revoked the special status of J&K under Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcated the erstwhile state into two Union Territories.

“I myself (as chief minister) delayed the delimitation exercise because the delimitation was scheduled to take place in the country in 2026. What was the reason for carrying out the delimitation at this time? Why not they go for the exercise in the entire country instead of picking up only a few states? That is our issue,” he said,
He added had they done it across the country, National Conference would have gladly joined the exercise but they have picked up J&K deliberately, therefore “we are not with it”.

On the Rashtriya Bajrang Dal”s demand for imposition of ban on the use of ”pheran” (a loose gown used by Kashmiris during winter to keep themselves warm during winter) after the assailant who attacked police was caught on camera wearing the garment to hide his weapon, Abdullah said “pheran is the identity of Kashmiris and if somebody has misused it, why defame it?”

“Without pheran, what can one do in minus 10 degrees Celsius? We hold the Kangri (fire pot) inside it. We don”t even have the electricity,” he said, adding Kashmiris have worn the ”pheran” even at the time when militancy was at its peak and “we will never discard the pheran.”

He termed the attack on the policemen as tragic and said those behind it should be arrested and dealt with in accordance with the law of the land.

Earlier during the day, a group of Rashtriya Bajrang Dal activists staged an anti-Pakistan protest here over growing incidents of terror attacks and set ablaze the flag of the neighbouring country. The protesters demanded a ban on the ”pheran”.

With PTI inputs

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Mehbooba Mufti greets people on Ramadhan eve

(Asian News Hub) – Former Chief Minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President, Mehbooba Mufti has felicitated people of Jammu and Kashmir on the onset of the Holy Month of Ramadhan.

In her message on the occasion, the PDP President hoped the holy month heralds the beginning of an era of peace, prosperity and salvage humanity from the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic. “I pray that this holy month brings along all the divine blessings for our state and its people”, Mehbooba Mufti prayed in her message.

Terming Ramadhan as a month of charity and compassion, Mehbooba Mufti appealed to the well to do sections of society to donate generously for the social causes during this month and added the holy month highlights the values of patience, self-restraint, tolerance and austerity, which promote feelings of compassion and respect for others.

​“Please remember during this month the widows, orphans, destitute, infirm and those who are unable to fend for themselves and try to donate generously for the social causes”, she said in her appeal.

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Stay away from Gun culture, follow democratic means: Mehbooba to Kashmir youth

Says don’t accept Aug 05 decision that ended accession between J&K, Union of India, want J&K to become model of peace in South Asia, PAGD still intact, centre not in favour of elections in J&K as it wants to rule it from Delhi

(Asian News Hub) – Former chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president, Mehbooba Mufti on Monday said that the accession between J&K and Union of India has been trashed in 2019 by the BJP led regime at the Centre. She also appealed to youth in the Valley to stay away from gun culture and fight for their rights in democratic way.

Addressing a gathering during membership drive here in Srinagar, Mehbooba said that the decision taken by the central government on August 05, 2019 is not acceptable and the rights and identity snatched from the people here must be restored.
“Those who have turned Jammu and Kashmir into a jail must bear in mind that we don’t accept the decision taken by the government. We will fight for our rights till our last breath. Even if a journalist speaks anything, he is being called and subsequently booked under UAPA,” she said.

“It is not Pakistan but India who had given us the special status. I don’t understand why BJP is getting angry why I am asking my country to restore the identity and special status of Jammu and Kashmir. The government has put an end to the agreement between J&K and Union of India, but still it is the people of J&K who are holding the hand of India. And when we raise any objection, we are being asked to stay calm,” she said, adding that the situation in Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh is very critical.

She added that PDP has always played a role in ensuring peace in Jammu and Kashmir, saying that the party’s aim is to make J&K a bridge for peace in South Asia and want J&K to become a model of peace in South Asia.

“As SAARC summit is set to be held in Pakistan, we hope our Prime Minister will go there as there is no other way besides dialogue to resolve the issues,” she added.

Talking to media persons on the sidelines of the function, Mehbooba said that any movement with guns is bound to fail, saying that this is why she has been appealing to the Kashmiri youth not to lose their lives due to bullets. “If we want to resolve the Kashmir issue, we need to follow democratic way and force the twin neighboring countries including India and Pakistan to hold dialogue,” she said.

“Some people want Kashmiri youth to pick up arms to show the world that they (Kashmiris) are terrorists and there are no issues with them, thus we need to follow democratic means to resolve our issues,” she said.

Asked about silence in PAGD, Mehbooba said that the conglomerate has a great role to play, saying that PAGD is still intact. “If PAGD is not there then who will talk about the issues of J&K people. Dr Farooq Abdullah’s health condition was not good, thus no meeting was held so far,” she said.

About the delimitation process in J&K, Mehbooba said that the central government will always try to keep the power of J&K into their hands so that they can take any decision vis-à-vis UT directly from Delhi. She said the central government wants to execute their decisions without the interference of local government here, and thus don’t want elections to be conducted soon.


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Leaders didn’t leave when we made them ministers, MLAs, RS members, they can better answer why they leaving: Mehbooba Mufti

‘Flag hoisting order reflects a sense of insecurity on part of GoI, wonder why such directions for J&K only’

(Asian News Hub) – Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti Wednesday said that the leaders who quit her party in the recent times preferred to stay in it when they were made ministers, MLAs and Rajya Sabha members and that those who quit would answer in a better way whether they left out of somebody’s pressure or something else.

Talking to reporters at her Gupkar residence here, Mehbooba said that the question why PDP leaders were leaving should be posed to those who have left. “How can I answer this question? Ask those who left. They didn’t leave when we made them ministers, MLAs and even Rajya Sabha members. I don’t know whether they are leaving out of somebody’s pressure or something else. PDP is facing challenging times so is the J&K,” she said as per news agency—KNO.

About the recent directions on flag hoisting on government buildings etc, the PDP chief said that flag hoisting order reflects a sense of insecurity on part of the government of India vis-à-vis Kashmir. “I wonder why such orders are not issued anywhere in India and why in J&K only,” she said.

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