Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah said on Monday that the Centre should be able to hoist the national flag at Lal Chowk in Srinagar before it tries to do the same in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Abdullah is already under fire for his remarks earlier this month about Pakistan-occupied Kashmir not belonging to India.

“They [The Centre] are talking about raising flag in PoK,” the National Conference president said, according to PTI. “I ask them, first you go and raise the tricolour at Lal Chowk in Srinagar. They can’t even do that here and they are talking about PoK.”

He also defended his earlier remarks about Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, and said: “If you do not like to hear the truth, then live in the untruth. The truth is that [PoK] is not our part and this [India-controlled Jammu and Kashmir] is not their part. That is the truth.”

When asked whether this did not hurt Indian sentiments, he asked: “What is Indian sentiment? You think I am not an Indian? Whose sentiments are you talking about? Those crooks, who don’t sees our miseries. Who don’t see the miseries of our border people? How they suffer when shelling starts?”

Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh said Abdullah was “strengthening separatists and militants with his remarks because he is frustrated”.