PoK will stay with Pak: Fa­rooq Ab­dul­lah

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Vikram Sharma let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

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

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