New Delhi: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah has said the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) would remain with Pakistan, while Jammu and Kashmir would be with India.
“PoK is in Pakistan, and will remain. J&K is in India, and will remain. We need to understand this,” news agency ANI reported Abdullah as saying to reporters. “War is not the solution, only lives are lost. Dialogue is the only option,” he added.
The controversial statement, seen as endorsing the Pakistan line on Kashmir, immediately triggered an angry rebuttal from many leaders. “The 1994 Parliament resolution clearly said that Pakistan Occupied Kashmir is constitutionally a part of India,” Jammu and Kashmir’s Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh said.
India and Pakistan have fought three wars since independence and partition in 1947, two over Kashmir. The disputed frontier is one of the world’s most heavily militarised regions.
Border clashes and ceasefire violations at the Line of Control also pose a constant risk of escalation of tension between the two countries.
As relations between the two neighbours continue to remain tense, Pakistan’s insistence that Kashmir is central to any talks has only made it worse. New Delhi has maintained that Kashmir remains an integral part of India.
Abdullah, a former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, had also served as a Union minister during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government.