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

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Jammu, Mar 10 (UNI) Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference patron Farooq Abdullah today said the Indian Government has not been 'serious' in resolving the Kashmir issue.

Speaking to mediapersons at the sidelines of a function organised by the National Conference to observe 'Women's Day' this evening, Dr Abdullah said, '' The Government of India don't want to solve Kashmir issue but to extend it. They are just wasting time,'' adding that if they had been serious in resolving the same, it would have been done previously at the time of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's regime.

''Central Government 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 the state,'' the Minister said.

''Everybody is jumping to the conclusion, but we have to catch the bull by the horn,'' he said. ''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,'' he added.

Hoping for the best, Dr Abdullah said if the dialogues and meetings with the present Government remain successful, then it would not be difficult to solve the issue, but they (Centre) needs to get serious.

Commenting upon the return of thousands of youth to their homeland from across the border (POK), Dr Abdullah said, ''they have to shun the gun and if they agree to live a normal life, they should be allowed, but if they are coming with an idea of spreading militancy, they should not be.'' However, flaying the coalition partners in the state, he said although they have got surplus funds from the Center, nothing has been done on the ground. ''If I would have been the Chief Minister and had failed to provide to the people despite having big amount, I would have definitely resigned,'' he added.

Dr Abdullah also assured that if his party comes to power during forthcoming Assembly elections, free education, medical facilities to the widows and old aged and 33 per cent reservation in various fields would be given to the women fraternity.

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