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‘How many more Pakistans will you create?’ Farooq Abdullah asks BJP

The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister claimed the BJP government at the Centre was hell-bent on creating a Hindu-Muslim divide.

india Updated: Nov 18, 2017 21:07 IST
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Hindustan Times, Jammu
Faroow Abdullah,Jammu and Kashmir,Pakistan
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah holds a sword during a programme in Jammu on Saturday. (PTI Photo )

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and National Conference president Farooq Abdullah on Saturday reiterated that “PoK belongs to Pakistan”, and asked, “How many more Pakistans will you create?”

His remark, an apparent dig at the BJP, is the latest in a series of controversial comments the veteran leader made in the recent past.

Addressing NC workers in Jammu Abdullah said that Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) was with Pakistan for the past 70 years and India and Pakistan have fought four wars, reiterating his earlier remarks on the issue that sparked controversy.

“What did I say? When did National Conference stop anyone from taking back PoK? Go and take it. They (Pakistan) are not wearing bangles. They also have atom bombs. Even PM (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) talked about maintaining sanctity along the Line of Control (LoC). Today, we are being intimidated by them. And, when did the NC ask for Azadi. We always asked for autonomy, which is within the purview of the Indian Constitution,” he said.

He also claimed the BJP government at the Centre was hell-bent on creating a Hindu-Muslim divide.

“Ye Hindustan tumhare baap ka nahi (This country does not belongs to your father). This country belongs to everyone, be it Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or Christian. They can choose their candidate, it’s their right,” he said and added that people of the country can’t be threatened to garner votes.

In this context, he went on to allege that some BJP leaders in Uttar Pradesh threatened Muslims of dire consequences if they don’t vote for them.

“If you think you will continue with your intimidating ways, do remember that this is how you made one Pakistan. Aur kitne Pakistan banaoge (How many Pakistans will you create). How many more pieces will you cut India into,” Abdullah said.

Last week he had courted controversy by saying PoK belonged to Pakistan and “this won’t change” no matter how many wars India and Pakistan fight.

The NC leader also asked Army chief General Bipin Rawat to look into the pitiable condition of widows of soldiers before indulging into alleged muscle flexing and war-posturing.

“Being their father, it is your (General’s) responsibility to look after the welfare of the families of the fallen soldiers. Sounding bugle and leaving them to their fate won’t work. Try to know what is going on with them. I ask them to prepare a report, table it in the parliament and then talk about war,” he said.

He said it was very easy to talk about a war, but try to know the conditions of the families, who have lost their lives in the war to ensure freedom in the country.

He also lashed out at the PDP-BJP government, which was conspicuous by its absence at the funeral of Sohan Lal Bhagat, a soldier who died in Manipur in an IED blast recently.

“Once we come to power we shall constitute a commission to improve the lives of war widows,” he asserted.

He also asked the party cadre to gear up for the ensuing Panchayat elections.

He also painted a scary picture if Article 35-A that guarantees special status to the state was revoked, saying, “Jammu will be the first to bear the maximum brunt of it.”

The Supreme Court is hearing petitions seeking scrapping of the article. The petitions claimed the constitutional provision violates the fundamental rights including the right to equality.

First Published: Nov 18, 2017 21:07 IST