My Father's Efforts Built Indo-Pak Ties: Farooq
6 April 2004
The Asian Age
Srinagar: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and patron of main Opposition party the National Conference, Dr Farooq Abdullah, said on Tuesday that it was at the initiative of his late father Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah that the process of normalisation of relations between India and Pakistan began way back in 1964. 'The process was initiated by Sheikh Sahib and supported by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru which resulted in the Sheikh Abdullah Field Marshal Ayub Khan Meeting,' he said while addressing an election rally at Mendhar in the frontier district of Poonch. Dr Farooq disclosed that it was decided in the meeting that the solution of the Kashmir imbroglio must be based on three premises. a)It should be acceptable to the people of the State of Jammu and Kashmir. b)It should protect the interests of Muslims in India and Hindus in Pakistan. c)It should be a solution, which is a win-win situation for all and no party to the dispute is a loser or a gainer. He said, 'It's sad that it was because of the saffron brigade and the rulers in Delhi that all efforts to resolve the issue were subverted and its only after 40 years that the efforts have been initiated to resolve the issue based on the 1964 Sheikh-Ayub agreement.' He added, 'Those who are today becoming the champions of peace are the ones who made all efforts to sabotage all peace moves and even branded the great visionary and tallest Kashmiri leader Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah as a traitor. He hoped that better sense would prevail and no body was allowed to play their devious designs to sabotage the process of peace.' Taking a dive at the Mufti Sayeed government, Dr Farooq alleged that it has failed on all fronts and the people of the state were totally disillusioned. He said employment had increased, developmental works had come to a stand-still, economy of the state was shattered, Human Rights Violations had increased and the misery of the people of the state had multiplied. He was accompanied on his two-day election tour of the win district of Rajouri-Poonch by several party leaders including the NC candidate for Jammu-Poonch seat S. S. Salathia.