National Conference President Farooq Abdullah on Sunday called for a dialogue with Pakistan to end terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, PTI reported. He recalled former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s words that “you can change your friends but not your neighbours”.
“Terrorism is still prevalent [in Jammu and Kashmir] contrary to their [the Bharatiya Janata Party’s] claim that we have finished it,” Abdullah said while responding to a question about the killing of two policemen by suspected militants in Srinagar last week. “If we want to finish it, we have to talk with our neighbour.”
Abdullah recalled Vajpayee’s words and said: “Either we grow friendship and prosper or continue the enmity, then there will be no prosperity.”
The National Conference leader called on the government to adopt a de-escalation policy in Jammu and Kashmir, like it did with China. “I appeal to the government to adopt the same approach as they had with China over the standoff in Ladakh and started withdrawal of its troops,” Abdullah said. “The same is needed here to pull out J&K from this [terrorism].”
Abdullah said that India and China needed to define the Line of Actual Control to put a permanent end to their standoff in Ladakh. “The issue is big because this line is not defined and so there are differences between the two powerful countries,” Abdullah said, according to PTI. “Both the countries need to sit and define this line so that the issue is settled forever. Both the countries are powerful and the key to development lies in the friendship.”
India and China had said last week that they will continue to push for the resolution of their outstanding matters in a steady and orderly manner to ensure that the border areas remain peaceful. The two countries issued a joint statement after the tenth round of commander-level talks on Saturday. The talks took place after the completion of the disengagement process at the Pangong Tso lake in Eastern Ladakh.
The talks between Indian and Chinese militaries began after the Galwan Valley clashes in June last year. However, a breakthrough came only earlier this month as Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh informed Parliament that the two countries will disengage from friction points in a phased and coordinated manner.