Hindustan Times (Bathinda)

My father refused to join hands with Jinnah: Farooq Abdullah

- HT Correspond­ent letters@hindustant­imes.com

JAMMU : National Conference president and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah on Saturday said his late father Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah refused to join hands with Mohammad Ali Jinnah, before expressing pride that his party never joined hands with Pakistan.

Abdullah made the comments at a rally in Akhnoor, where he also demanded assembly elections and restoratio­n of statehood for Jammu and Kashmir be ensured at the earliest.

“We never joined hands with Pakistan. Jinnah had come to meet my father, but we refused to join hands with him and we are glad for it. People in Pakistan are not empowered,” the veteran leader said.

Sending out a “reminder” to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government of its promises, the NC president said, “These promises cannot be fulfilled by a governor. Elections are important and they should be held at the earliest.”

“We were promised 50,000 jobs here, where are they? Our doctors, nurses, paramedica­l staff, and our children are all unemployed. This cannot be done by a governor, you cannot hold him accountabl­e. Elections are important,” he added, while continuing to push for early assembly elections.

Notably, Jammu and Kashmir has not had an elected government since June 19, 2018, when People’s Democratic Party (PDP)-BJP government came to an unceremoni­ous end after the latter pulled out support citing the worsening security scenario in the region.

Without mentioning any names, Abdullah also advised the people to not to fall prey to the narratives of a particular community being in “danger”.

“It is the humans, who are corrupt, not their religion... they will use remarks like ‘Hindu khatre me hai’ a lot during the elections, but I request you to not fall prey to them.” the leader said.

We never joined hands with Pak and we are glad for it. People in Pakistan aren’t empowered. FAROOQ ABDULLAH, National Conference president

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