Udhampur: National Conference President Dr Farooq Abdullah today stressed the need for a thaw in the relations between India and Pakistan, saying this will hugely benefit the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
“Hostilities on borders bring only agonies and miseries to the dwellers, halt agriculture and economic activities, and impact the way of life of every segment of society”, Dr Farooq Abdullah said while addressing National Conference workers here this afternoon.
Referring to the recent reiteration by both the countries to abide by ceasefire agreement in letter and spirit, the former Chief Minister and Member Parliament said the people of Jammu and Kashmir wish and pray for success of this measure, as it will bring some sort of relief to them. He said both the countries are spending a substantial portion of budget on defence procurements thus depriving welfare of their poor populations. He said peace is in the larger interest of the region, especially as the people of the two countries have been yearning for good relations.
Invoking the words of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee that “you can change your friends but not your neighbours”, Dr Farooq said that either the two countries have to grow friendship and prosper or continue the enmity and then there will be no prosperity.
Echoing apprehensions in the minds of the people of Jammu and Kashmir about their lands and jobs going in the wake of August 2019 political developments, the National Conference chief said that Article 370 was not just a Kashmir centric issue, it was as much important to the regions of Jammu and Ladakh as well. To save the people, especially those of Jammu from the hegemony of the elite and affluent from the neighbouring states, Maharaja Hari Singh brought the law in 1927.
Dr Abdullah exhorted the party cadre to reach out to the people and work for their betterment. The strength of the National Conference comes from the people, who are the real fountainhead of power, which is not to rule but to serve the masses, irrespective of caste, creed, colour and religion. He said it is the people who can change and shape their own destiny. He said the massive support despite numerous challenges reflects the deep faith of the people in the National Conference, which has all along cherished the great values of the pluralistic ethos that has actually been a binding force between the regions and religions.
“We have to maintain, sustain and promote this spirit for making Jammu and Kashmir a better place to live in”, Dr Farooq said, adding this is what we owe to the posterity.
Along with Provincial President Mr Devender Singh Rana, Dr Farooq Abdullah was also accompanied by Provincial Vice President Mr Israr Khan.
The public meeting had been organized by District President Udhampur Rural Mr Ram Parshotam Sharma.
Prominent among those present on the occasion included Ch Mohammad Shafi Advocate, Sunil Verma , District President Udhampur Urban, Lal Chand Musafir, Rajesh Gupta, V.K. Khajuria, Prem Nath, Bharat Bhushan, Ramesh Kumar, Bushan Kataria, Praduman Singh, Rama Gupta, Naresh Anthal, Choudhary Saraj Din , Iqbal Phambra, Govind Ram Sharma, Prem Nath, John Wilson, Sudesh Kumar, Subash Kudyar, Jagdish Singh, Hari Gopal, Govind Chalotra, Savani Baloria, Srishta Devi, Prem Nath Sharma, Gurbachan Singh, K,K Raina, Rattan Lal Sharma and others.