A day after drawing criticism for saying that Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) will remain with Pakistan, National Conference president Farooq Abdullah went a step further on Saturday to say that even if all of India’s armed forces were deployed in the state, they still couldn’t stop terrorism.
Addressing a function here, the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said, “The only solution is talks (with Pakistan), but it will not happen because of terrorists, who may kill me for saying it but I am not afraid of death and will continue to say so.”
Abdullah recollected how terrorists tried to derail the peace process initiated by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee by killing 20 Hindus in Rajouri district a day before he was to embark on a bus trip to Lahore in 1999.
He said the real power in Pakistan was vested in its army and not Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who could be disposed of in minutes if the army so desired. “The Pakistan army continues to tell its people that it alone could save them from Hindu India,” he added.
Abdullah also took the opportunity to defend his comment on PoK remaining with Pakistan.
“A lot has been made out of my remarks, saying it’s against the resolution made in the Parliament. How many UN resolutions have been made about J&K, what happened to them? Things cannot improve unless Pakistan realises and understands that it can’t take away this part (Indian part) of J&K,” he said.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), on the other hand, reacted sharply to his comment. “He should not make such remarks and we demand that he take back his statement. PoK is a part of India and is under the illegal clutches of Pakistan... He is insulting India and the Parliament,” BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said.