December 2018 News

Advised Lone Against Gun Culture In Kashmir: Farooq

2 December 2018
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: National Conference (NC) president and former Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, today said that he had advised the assassinated People's Conference leader, Abdul Gani Lone, against gun culture in Kashmir when latter approached him after NC Government was dismissed by then Governor Jagmohan. Abdullah said this while speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a function at Baramulla today. While responding to allegations of Sajjad Lone that NC and PDP had eroded the Article 370, he said that Lone's father approached him in early 1990s that he will go to Pakistan and bring guns. 'His father (Abdul Gani Lone) came to me when I was dismissed by the Jagmohan and said that he will go to Pakistan and bring guns', he revealed. The former Chief Minister said that he asked him against it but after Lone came back he apologized him for bringing guns to Kashmir. 'I asked him not to do that as this will bring destruction, youth would be killed and villages as well as cities will be destroyed but he brought gun. After he came back, he apologized to me and said he committed a mistake. Now ask Sajjad Lone to give answer to this', he said. When asked about People's Conference chairman, Sajjad Lone's statement that dynasty politics is going on here, Abdullah asked was his father not a part of dynasty that he was pointing fingers on us. 'He should see his own self as well. We were not trying to make Government so that we can enjoy the power, we wanted to save the things that is being done by the Governor right now', he said. The NC president said that his party wanted to defend the Article 35A. 'We wanted to defend the Article 35A and this Government would not have survived for so long. This Government was about to end and elections would have been conducted finally, it is the people who have to decide. We are not power hungry as said by the Governor. People here have forgotten that when Jagmohan was sent as Governor of the State, I refused the Chair at that time. My motive was not the Chair but the respect of people and we were fighting for the respect. All the parties have their own motives. The issue of J&K Bank would not have happened if there was our Government', he said. Asked if NC is against PDP why was the party allying with them for the formation of Government, Abdullah said: 'We were supporting for only one purpose to save the special status of J&K. You can see what happened to the J&K Bank here or 35A in the Supreme Court. Are we not defending the Article 370? This was all for that purpose', he said. The NC president said that his party will continue to fight for autonomy of the State and stirred a controversy by saying that just as Jammu and Kashmir belongs to India, Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) belongs to Pakistan. Speaking to reporters on the Centre's stand on his party's demand for autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir, Abdullah said that it is not on the Centre to decide but a decision that should be taken by the people of the State. 'Only people here can reject me not New Delhi. Autonomy is our right and we will get that', he said. The NC president advocated the opening of the Sharda Peeth temple in PoK for Kashmiri Pandits after the Kartarpur corridor. 'All the routes of friendship that will be opened in India and Pakistan, NC is always in support of that', he said. Abdullah said that the PoK belongs to Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir is part of India. 'I want to tell you again that we were part of India and we will be in future as well but we should always be in friendship with Pakistan. I want to tell you again today that the other side of Kashmir is their part and this side is our part. We should break this wall and let people from both sides be given right to meet each other and do trade as well. It should be shown that both parts are same and not different from each other', he added. The NC president said he believes that Indo-Pakistan friendship will lead to resolution of Kashmir. 'We are of the view that the friendship between India and Pakistan is most important for the Valley. Kashmir issue will be solved automatically when India and Pakistan become friends', he said.