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'Solution lies within India'

india Updated: Aug 27, 2010 00:20 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah on Thursday said most people in Jammu and Kashmir wanted to be with India and any demand for freedom was fraught with serious consequences.

Making a fervent appeal to those pressing for independence, he warned that Jammu and Kashmir could face serious problems from terrorist elements like Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan if it became independent.

"Those in Kashmir demanding azadi (independence) have not realised the consequences of such a demand. Kashmir, too, faces a threat from Taliban elements and a situation similar to Afghanistan and Pakistan will arise in the state too (if independence is granted), he said during a debate in Lok Sabha on the situation in Kashmir.

The Union Minister said it was high time political parties understood the sentiments of the people of the state and took necessary measures to find a solution.

Pointing out at the reign of terror unleashed by the Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan, Abdullah said those demanding freedom must take lessons from the precarious situation in the two countries.

"Is that the kind of freedom we want? Those demanding independence, don't they see the situation in Afghanistan?" he sought to know.

Abdullah, instead, pressed for autonomy for the state saying that such a solution was in the larger interest of Jammu and Kashmir.

"We want Jammu and Kashmir of Raja Hari Singh," he said elaborating that he was in favour of re-integration of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Northern Areas with other parts of the state as it existed before 1947.

Drawing the attention of political parties, the former CM said Kashmiris wanted a solution to the problems within India. "We want to find a solution to the problem within India...not in Pakistan, China or in America."

"If you do not understand the sentiments of the people of Kashmir, North-East and other parts of the country, India cannot be strong. Only if every state is strong and enjoys its powers, can the Centre be strong and enjoy its powers," Abdullah added.

Participating in the debate, Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi demanded that an all-party delegation should visit Kashmir to assess the situation there.