Use ’friends’ to resolve Kashmir issue: Farooq Abdullah; BJP, Cong unimpressed


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Former J&K Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah’s suggestion for seeking help of either China or the US to facilitate dialogue with Pakistan over Kashmir found no takers on Friday.

While the BJP slammed Abdullah’ remarks as a “publicity stunt”, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi said the Kashmir issue was “our internal matter” and no other country should have a say in it”. Abdullah, who was elected as member of Lok Sabha in May, made a strong pitch third party facilitation to get India and Pakistan talking on resolving the Kashmir issue.

“(US President Donald) Trump himself said I want to settle the Kashmir problem, we did not ask them to. China too said they want to mediate in Kashmir. Services of friends can be utilised to to start talks,” Abdullah said.

J&K Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh condemned Abdullah’s statement and accused him of having a “double-faced” approach. “When he was the Chief Minister, he talked of attacking Pakistan. Why this double-faced approach,” Singh said.

Rahul Gandhi also differed with Abdullah and accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi for pursuing policies that have destroyed Kashmir.

“I have been saying this for long that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and NDA’s policies have destroyed Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

“Kashmir is India and India is Kashmir. This is our internal matter and nobody else has a role in it,” Rahul said referring to Abdullah’s suggestion on involving the US or China to facilitate a dialogue between India and Pakistan.

BJP General Secretary Kailash Vijaywargiya brushed aside Abdullah’s remarks. “The government does not need his advice,” he said.

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