PoK will stay with Pak: Farooq Abdullah
JAMMU: PoK would remain with Pakistan and India should understand it, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah said on Friday, triggering a huge controversy.
“The PoK (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir) will remain a part of Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir will remain a part of India. We need to understand it,” he said, adding dialogue was the only way forward for the two countries.
PM Atal Behari Vajpayee favoured the arrangement and had also proposed it to Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf when he visited the neighbouring country in 1999, Abdullah said. His National Conference was then a part of the BJP-led NDA govern- ment in which he was a minister.
“I know when Vajpayee went to Lahore... he told me that he had proposed to Musharraf to take that part [PoK] and let us keep ours, and let us correct those lines..., but they did not agree to it,” the 78-year-old maverick leader said. “Today Pakistan is agreeing to accept it, but we have to start the dialogue.”
Vajpayee’s Lahore visit was hailed as a milestone in bilateral ties but within four months hostilities broke out after Pakistan soldiers captured Indian heights in the border state, leading to what has come to be known as the Kargil war. “Four wars have taken place between India and Pakistan and many lives have been lost without anybody’s gain. War is no solution and only dialogue can solve the problem,” the NC leader said.
CONTINUED ON P10
The Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) will remain a part of Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir will remain a part of India. We need to understand it.
FAROOQ ABDULLAH, ex-CM, J&K