Former Chief Minister and National Conference patron Farooq Abdullah has been quoted by local newspapers in Jammu and Kashmir as saying that Kashmiris love Pakistan and no financial package from New Delhi can change this reality. In what is being seen as an attempt to inflame passions ahead of the byelection in Anantnag, which previous CM Mufti Mohammad Sayeed represented, Abdullah allegedly said that Pakistan is in the hearts of Kashmiri people and this is a reality.

Farooq’s son Omar Abdullah has said that deferring of bypolls in Anantnag Assembly segment is the admission of defeat by the Mehbooba Mufti government. He said CM Mehbooba Mufti is terrified to face the public. The Election Commission on Thursday postponed the scheduled bypoll citing law and order situation.

Farooq Abdullah, while addressing his party workers, allegedly said that Delhi should understand why the youth of Kashmir celebrate the defeat of the Indian cricket team. “People in New Delhi complain that despite so much of financial help, Kashmiri people love Pakistan. I tell them they will continue to take money and will still have Pakistan in their hearts,” Farooq was quoted by local newspapers in J&K as saying, while commenting on the recent controversy in NIT Srinagar.

Farooq further said that AFSPA should be removed from J&K.

He reportedly questioned the wisdom of New Delhi to continue with this “draconian law”. “Why is the BJP government not invoking AFSPA in Chhattisgarh where dozens of CRPF jawans are being killed on the streets? Why these double-standards? Kashmir is now peaceful and AFSPA should go,” Farooq told his party workers.

He said that New Delhi should start serious efforts to address the political alienation in Kashmir and provide some hope to the youth here. He demanded restoration of Autonomy and pre-1953 status. India and Pakistan should include people of Jammu and Kashmir for a credible solution to this problem, he concluded.


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