As India assumes the G20 presidency for a year from next month, National Conference president and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah on Monday said the country can use this opportunity to engage Pakistan to address Kashmir issue and also help the world end the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
“I am very happy that India is going to host G20 summit next year. I hope Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be successful in resolving Russian-Ukraine war and bring it to end because it has cast severe economic impact across the world,” Farooq said.
He said it would be better for the global population if India is able to defuse the crisis.
“Secondly, we have a problem with our neighbouring country (Pakistan over Kashmir). There can be a possibility to seek a solution (to the issue) to end our hardships,” he said.
On a query pertaining to talks with Pakistan, Farooq said, “When I talk about holding a dialogue with Pakistan, the home minister says that we should talk to our youth. But our fight (problem) is with Pakistan and not our children. When I demand Indo-Pak talks, I am labelled as a traitor. I am now tired of it. India has to talk to Pakistan at some point in time.”
To another query on increasing radicalisation among the youth of Kashmir, he posed a counter question and said, “Who is doing it? Who is dividing the people in the name of Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims? We all are Indians…”
On assembly elections, he said he had no idea about their timing. “It is up to the election commission and the government.”
On Monday, several political and social activists joined the National Conference in the presence of its president Farooq Abdullah in Jammu, a party spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson of the All Parties United Morcha said Farooq will join the Bharat Jodo Yatra led by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi when it reaches Jammu and Kashmir.
The Jammu-based umbrella body of nearly a dozen mainstream parties and social organisations called on Farooq at his residence and discussed the need to further strengthen coordination among opposition parties to defeat the designs of “communal and divisive forces’’, a spokesperson said.