April 2000 News

Declare LOC as permanent border: Abdullah

23 April 2000
Indian Express

Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah has said the Line of Control (LOC) should be declared as permanent border between India and Pakistan to bring ''lasting peace'' to the region and strongly opposed division of the state. ''Time has come when we should retain what we have and let the Pakistanis keep what they have with them,'' he said last night at a function here to unveil the statue of Maharaja Gulab Singh by Vice-President Krishan Kant. Strongly opposing any move to divide Jammu and Kashmir, Abdullah said the state has to survive as a ''single entity'' and any attempt to fragment it on regional or religious lines will be dangerous for the country. ''We (the people of Kashmir) had linked our destiny with India (after independence) not because it was a big country with a huge population but because it is a secular nation where people of every faith have a right to live in peace and harmony with equal opportunities,'' he said. ''All of us have to protect and work for the unity of the three regions of the state - Jammu, Kashmir valley and Ladakh,'' Abdullah added. Stating that the state is passing through a difficult phase as Pakistan is hell bent on grabbing Jammu and Kashmir, he said however, the people are determined to stay with India.


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