Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minsiter Farooq Abdullah on Saturday sparked a controversy after he said Pakistan-occupied Kashmir belonged to the neighbouring country.

“Pakistan Administered Kashmir belongs to Pakistan, and this side belongs to India,” he was quoted as saying by News18. “I tell this to them and to the world: this is not going to change. Let them fight however many wars they want to.”

The National Conference president also said that “independent Kashmir” was not a reality, according to The Hindu.

“Jammu and Kashmir is landlocked and surrounded by nuclear powers – China, Pakistan and India,” he said at the party headquarters in Srinagar. “All three of them have atom bombs. We have nothing except Allah’s name. Those who are talking about azadi [freedom] are wrong.”

On the Centre-appointed Interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma, he said just holding talks is not enough to resolve the dispute in the region. “This issue is between India and Pakistan,” Abdullah said. “The Indian government must also hold talks with the Pakistani government because a part of Kashmir is with them.”