Farooq calls for Ireland-type Kashmir settlement

National Conference (NC) President Farooq Abdullah Sunday urged governments of India and Pakistan to start a sustained dialogue process and advocated an Ireland-type settlement model to resolve the procrastinated Kashmir issue.
The three-time chief minister while addressing a public gathering at Uri said a day would come when the people of Jammu Kashmir will breathe in a peaceful atmosphere shorn of any insecurity.
“We shouldn’t feel disheartened. The current situation is grave but we have witnessed even worst throughout the history. At one time in our history, people would not buy the idea that the autocratic rule will end. But a day came when democratic forces usurped the king’s throne with determination and struggle,” he said.
Farooq asked the people to keep faith and follow the path which was shown by the Prophet of Islam (SAW).
“In this hour of grief and uncertainty, we should not let anxiety and hopelessness overpower us. We should follow the teaching of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) in our day-to-day lives. Hopelessness is a curse,” the NC President said.
Recounting the contribution of former Prime Minister Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah and his wife, he said, “They worked tireless for the socio-political emancipation of the people of the State. My parents drew their energy from the teaching of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). It was the very essence of his teachings that kept them going notwithstanding persecution, confinements and political retribution,” he said.
The former chief minister said the party had to face many challenges since the very day of its inception and that scores of the party functionaries were preyed upon by the monster of conflict.
“Our party was back-stabbed by many political shenanigans and turncoats but history bears testimony to how they eventually faded on their own. NC is a people’s party we owe our being to people and we are a grass root level party,” he said.
Farooq said the State’s special status was infringed upon by the machinations of national political parties including Congress and BJP and that their attitude had not changed.
“The current situation is no different. People should remain watchful of crafty politicians who are product of these machinations. Self respect and dignity of our state should not be bartered for few pennies,” he said.
The NC President urged the Government of India to restore autonomy to J&K at an earliest.
“Autonomy is the only way ahead to address the political and developmental deficit of all the regions of Jammu and Kashmir. It will secure the secular character of our State and strengthen bonds of amity and brotherhood,” he said.