National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah on Thursday said that the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan needs to be resolved through dialogue and not military might, PTI reported.

“Kashmir is a dispute between two countries [India and Pakistan],” said the Srinagar parliamentarian. “The issue is still in the United Nations. The UN observers are still here and in Pakistan-held Kashmir. The issue should be resolved and it will be resolved only when they talk to each other and when India will talk to people here in Kashmir and Pakistan with the people in Azad Kashmir [Pakistan-occupied Kashmir].”

Abdullah also said that Kashmir is a political problem that needs a political solution, according to IANS. “The final solution of the Kashmir problem must satisfy the people of Jammu, Valley and Ladakh region. India and Pakistan should also not feel betrayed,” he said.

The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister added that there was no alternative to dialogue to address the matter. “Nothing will be achieved by military might or force or coercion including by NIA [National Investigation Agency],” he said.

Abdullah was addressing party workers at Hazratbal in Srinagar on the occasion of the 19th death anniversary of his mother Begum Akbar Jehan.

Last month, Hurriyat Conference Chairperson Mirwaiz Umar Farooq had said his organisation would respond positively if the Centre initiated meaningful talks with separatists in Kashmir. Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik had said the situation in the state was changing and the leaders of the separatist group were ready for talks with the Centre.

In an interview to earlier this year, Farooq had also said that the only way to move forward was for India, Pakistan and the Kashmiris to engage with each other, and there was no reason for the Indian government to create a problem about this.