Ind, Pak can progress only through friendship: Farooq Abdullah

Srinagar, Sep 8: Opposition National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah today asked India and Pakistan to eschew the "line of war" and resolve all issues through dialogue as he insisted that neither country would progress without any friendship between the two.

"There is an atmosphere of war around. Threats are coming from there (Pakistan) that they are ready. Who will die? A poor Kashmiri here and a poor Kashmiri there. And what will happen? Nothing will change. The line (Line of Control) will not change, but we will die.

Abdullah bats for Indo-Pak friendship

"I request both the countries and appeal to them to stop this line of war and try to resolve the issues through dialogue," Abdullah said in his address to party workers at the mausoleum of his father and NC founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah on his 33rd death anniversary.

His comments came in the wake of the Pakistan army chief describing Kashmir as an "unfinished agenda" and warning of "unbearable damage" in case of a "long or short" misadventure by the "enemy" after the Indian army chief said last week that Indian army was prepared for "swift, short nature of future wars".

Invoking the views of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in this regard, Abdullah urged both India and Pakistan to tread the road of progress through friendship.

"We can move forward only through talks. We have not moved forward through bombs till now and will not do so in the future as well. Nothing can happen with these threats. I remember that when BJP Prime Minister Vajpayee went to Karnah (in north Kashmir), I was there. He made a speech and people of Pakistan were listening. He said friends can be changed but neighbours cannot be changed.

"He (Vajpayee) said we will live with our neighbours in friendship and progress and if we do not live in friendship, then neither nation will progress... if we have to progress then there is no way other than friendship. They will have to look for the road to friendship and tread that only," he said.

Abdullah also asked separatist leaders to tell their "friends" to shun the talk of war and try the language of friendship instead.

"I want to tell Hurriyat leaders as well. They should tell their friends to shun the talk of war and look for the road to friendship. If they do not do that, then they too will die like we are. So, it is absolutely necessary to focus on this aspect," he said.


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