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Farooq Abdullah says convert LoC into Line of Peace, BJP says opposition has no ideology

BJP says Farooq Abdullah has cleverly changed his stance by demanding that the Line of Control be converted into a Line of Peace knowing fully well that there are no takers for azadi south of Pir Panjal.

india Updated: Apr 08, 2018 20:29 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Jammu
Farooq Abdullah,LoC,Line of Peace
File photo of National Conference president Farooq Abdullah. (Arvind Yadav/HT Photo)

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) trained its guns on National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah on Sunday for suggesting that the LoC be converted into a “Line of Peace and Goodwill” and alleged that the opposition party in Jammu and Kashmir had no ideology and only believed in arousing passions by playing with people’s emotions for vote-bank politics.

“Knowing fully well that there are no takers for azadi south of Pir Panjal, Abdullah has very cleverly changed his stance by demanding that the Line of Control (LoC) be converted into a Line of Peace, thus making it amply clear that his party has no ideology and only believes in arousing passions by playing with people’s emotions for vote-bank politics,” state BJP spokesperson Anil Gupta said in a statement.

Gupta, a former army officer, was reacting to Abdullah’s statement at Mandi in Poonch district on Saturday, suggesting the conversion of the LoC into a “Line of Peace and Goodwill” and cautioning the Centre against taking the people of Jammu and Kashmir for granted and ignoring their legitimate aspirations.

“The NC has survived as a political party by posing itself as the well-wisher of the Kashmiri-speaking Muslims. It has always been wary of losing prominence due to the challenge posed by the other Muslims like Paharis, Punjabis, Gujjars and Shias in general and the Muslims of the erstwhile Jammu province in particular,” Gupta alleged.

The BJP leader claimed that the same fear continued to haunt Abdullah and his party leadership even today and that was why, rather than uniting the population living across the LoC, he advocated it to be made a permanent border.

“It was for the same reason that his father, Sheikh Abdullah, had forced former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru to announce a unilateral ceasefire, when the invaders were on the run and the Indian Army was well poised to recapture the areas of Mirpur, Kotli, Poonch, and Muzaffarabad,” he added.

“Had Muzaffarabad been recaptured, the strategic areas of Gilgit-Baltistan, Hunza and other frontier districts would have automatically returned to India as all the lines of communication to these areas passed through Muzaffarabad. It would also have saved the state from the problem of refugees, which haunts it till date,” Gupta said.

He claimed that the NC’s dislike for non-Kashmiri speaking Muslim leaders was evident from the fact that when Mirza Afzal Beg resigned from the Maharaja’s cabinet in 1945 due to differences within the party, the Maharaja had appointed Mian Ahmed Yar, an NC leader, “but he was, however, expelled from the party because his presence in the council of ministers was not acceptable to Sheikh Abdullah as Yar was a non-Kashmiri speaking Muslim from Jammu.”

As regards the return of the Haji Peer pass and Chhamb sector by Pakistan, he asked Abdullah to question his ally, the Congress, “which not only betrayed the people of the state, but also belittled the sacrifices of the Indian Army by returning to Pakistan the territories captured by it.”

“Had the strategic Haji Peer pass been in our possession today, there would have been no Uri-Poonch bulge and no question of Pakistan launching a proxy war against us as it would have provided a direct link between Poonch and the Kashmir Valley via Uri,” the BJP leader said.

First Published: Apr 08, 2018 20:29 IST