Attack On IAF Convoy in Poonch Shows Terrorism Not Over In Jammu And Kashmir: Farooq Abdullah

SRINAGAR, May 5: National Conference president Farooq Abdullah on Sunday condemned the terrorist attack on a convoy of Indian Air Force (IAF) in  Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch and said the menace of terror is still alive in the Union Territory.

Abdullah, a former chief minister, said the BJP government’s claim that Article 370 was responsible for terrorism now stands exposed, reiterating his stand that only dialogue between India and Pakistan can end the threat in the region.

One IAF soldier died and four others were injured when terrorists attacked a security convoy in the Surankote area of Poonch district Saturday evening.

Talking to PTI videos in an exclusive interview here, the NC leader said terror attacks like the one on the IAF convoy have been afflicting the region for the past many months.

“That area has been disturbed for many months. Incidents have taken place in Rajouri, Surankote and other adjacent areas,” he said and paid his tributes to the dead and prayed for early recovery of the injured.

As far as terrorism is concerned, he said, the BJP government will claim that Article 370 was responsible for it, but even after its abrogation on August 5, 2019, the terrorism is still there.

“I believe the Cold War between India and Pakistan is responsible for it. Till the two countries do not start a dialogue process and find a solution to this issue, it won’t stop,” Abdullah said.

He said both countries are nuclear nations and it will lead to destruction if there is no dialogue.
“It is very important to consider the aspirations of the people of  Jammu and Kashmir and  Ladakh. But they kept playing with the emotions of our people,” he said.

Expressing confidence in the India bloc that it will win all six Lok Sabha seats in J-K and  Ladakh, he said, “If India alliance wins, we will not only initiate a dialogue process with our neighbour but will also try to save the Constitution of India, the Constitution that was framed by B R Ambedkar.” “Many things will change. Our election commission will be independent once again. Our judiciary will be independent. They won’t work as per the whims and fancies of BJP. Things will be done in the interest of people because they are the authority,” he asserted.

Talking about his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June 2021 in New Delhi, Abdullah said he requested the PM to lessen the distance between ‘Dilli ki doori aur dil ki doori’ “but despite being assured about the release of those arrested on August 5, 2019, they are still behind the bars.” “I had just recovered from COVID and I was weak but I still went to meet him. I said the people who were arrested after August 5 needed to be released. They said they would form a committee. Home Minister (Amit Shah) and Lt Governor (Manoj Sinha) were also present in that meeting.

“They said those who were not involved in any anti-national activity would be released but nothing happened. It has been more than four years now,” he said. “This is not the way to build relationships.” On Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s statement that India is the land of Lord Ram and Lord Krishna, Abdullah said, “It not only alienates Muslims but also Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists and Zoroastrians, who belong to this nation.” Abdullah said the BJP knows that it is on the verge of losing the election and that’s why it is using religion to divide the people.

“You must have heard PM Modi’s recent statements about ‘mangalsutra’. Does he only represent Hindus of this country?” he asked.

“He (Modi) must talk about unity but the only thing he talks about is how to divide communities in the name of religion. It does not suit him at all,” the Kashmiri leader added.

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