Centre is not 'serious' in solving Kashmir issue: Farooq Abdullah

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Jammu, Mar 10 (UNI) Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and National Conference Patron Dr Farooq Abdullah today said the Indian Government is not 'serious' about solving the Kashmir issue.

Speaking to mediapersons at the sidelines of a function this evening, Dr Abdullah said, ''the Government of India don't want to solve the Kashmir issue but to extend it.'' If they would have been serious in resolving the matter, it would have been done previously, he said.

''They actually are not 'serious'. If they would have been, then the conflict would had been solved at the time of President Pervez Musharraf,'' Dr Abdullah told reporters, adding that they are doing nothing on the grounds but just wasting time.

The Centre is scared of losing votes but it is very much sure that either now or later, autonomy has to be introduced to restore peace in Jammu and Kashmir, the Member of Parliament said.

He further said, ''everybody is jumping to the conclusion but we have to catch the bull by horn. It is not easy for both the countries to leave Kashmir. For Pakistan, it is a vital issue and for India it is a 'land of Maharajas and Ancestors'.'' Hoping that the issue will finally be resolved, Dr Abdullah said if dialogues and meetings with the present government remain successful, then it would not be difficult to solve the issue but they (Centre) have to be serious.

Commenting upon the return of thousands of youths to their homeland from across the border (PoK), he assered they have to shun the guns and if they agree to live a normal life, they should be allowed but if they are coming with a motive of spreading militancy, they should not be allowed to come back.

However, lamenting about the coalition partners in Jammu and Kashmir, the former minister said they have got surplus funds from the Centre but nothing has been done on the ground level.

''If I would have been the chief minister and if I fail to provide little funds to the people of the state despite having big amounts, I would have resigned,'' he averred.

Dr Abdullah, who was speaking at a function organised by the National Conference to observe 'Women's Day', also assured that if his party comes to power during the forthcoming Assembly elections, then they would definately look into matters of giving free education, free medical facilities to the widows and old aged, and 33 per cent reservation in various fields to the women fraternity.

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