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People have passion for Azadi: Farooq..

People in Kashmir have a “passion” for Azadi (Freedom) and look up to Pakistan, opposition National Conference President Farooq Abdullah said Monday but asserted the destiny of Kashmiris lied with India.

“Logun ko yahaan azadi ka nasha hai….woh Pakistan ki taraf dekhtay hain (People here have a passion for freedom and they look up to Pakistan,” the 82-year old Abdullah said, speaking at a function on ill-effects of substance abuse organised by the non-governmental organization The Inner Call in collaboration with Central University of Kashmir .

The NC patron said neither independence nor merger with Pakistan was achievable.

“Neither of them are right and if it was so then Farooq Abdullah would have been first to tell you. Do you think anything will change? We don’t want Kashmir to become another Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan. Whatever we have achieved in past 70 years will be lost in seconds (if either demand was realised),” he said.

“Are you going to get Pakistan? Are you going to get independence? What are you talking about? People should not be misled to destruction. We don’t have any resource of our own here and we even get food items from New Delhi,” Abdullah said.

However, the Member Parliament from Srinagar also warned New Delhi if Kashmir issue wasn’t resolved people would come out to fight and achieve “martyrdom” from every place in the region.

“Kashmiris have to live here. We were given autonomy under the constitution. That must be restored in full form without playing tricks,” Abdullah said repeating his party stand.

Referring to recent gun battles in Shopian and the subsequent protests across Kashmir in which five civilians were killed, Abdullah described the situation in Kashmir as “terribly bad” and said the only way to come out of “this storm” was to resolve the issue by talking to Pakistan.

“No solution can be achieved without talking to Pakistan,” he said.

“The killings must stop. Innocent people are getting killed…they are killing even those who are not having guns,” said Abdullah.

According to Abdullah growing intolerance in India cast its shadow on Jammu and Kashmir where amid prevailing political uncertainty youth find their future dark.

“We see no future for ourselves, we see darkness and we see a nation changing its colour from a secular India to a Hindu India where Muslims not only in Kashmir but entire India are feeling the threat,” Abdullah said.

However, he expressed hope that a silent majority in India would come to the rescue of Muslims by standing up against those trying to change the Constitution of India.

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