Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and sitting member of Parliament from Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency Dr Farooq Abdullah has done it again.
On Sunday, the octogenarian politician, heading the National Conference in Jammu and Kashmir, stoked a fresh controversy by claiming China “never accepted” the Abrogation of Article 370, and hoped that it will be restored with China’s support.
Dr Abdullah has not made this statement for the first time.
Earlier in June 2017, Dr Farooq Abdullah had made a somewhat similar statement claiming India should approach third parties, such as the United States and China, to mediate and resolve the Kashmir issue.
Now as they are gradually realising that all their joint efforts are not going to cut much ice with the new political dispensation in New Delhi they have decided to put external pressure on India so as to resolve the issue of Kashmi
Three weeks ago, in an exclusive interview to a news portal, Dr Abdullah had also claimed that after the abrogation of Article 370, the Kashmiri people ‘do not feel or want to be Indian’ and they would rather prefer to be ruled by China, instead of India.
Dr Farooq Abdullah is counted among very few politicians who have mastered the art of making irrational statements and getting away with it without inviting any reprimand.
But at this juncture when both India and China are entangled in a prolonged standoff in the eastern Ladakh sector singing in chorus with India baiters while remaining a member of Parliament raises many eyebrows?
Now the question arises, at whose behest Dr Farooq Abdullah is attempting to bring China in the picture and also linking the decision of Abrogation of Article 370 with the Chinese aggression along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh.
What has suddenly gone wrong that has prompted him to pin all his hopes on China alone especially when it comes to restoring Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir?
It is no political secret, the mainstream Kashmiri politicians are already facing a credibility crisis in their own backyards ever since Article 370 has been abrogated and the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir has been reorganised and divided into two Union Territories.
After these mainstream politicians were released from their detentions they could not muster adequate numbers to organise street protests. The writing was on the wall for them to read. But instead of acknowledging the new political reality, these politicians joined hands together to launch a silent political struggle.
Now as they are gradually realising that all their joint efforts are not going to cut much ice with the new political dispensation in New Delhi they have decided to put external pressure on India so as to resolve the issue of Kashmir.
Soon after the National Conference President questioned the centre’s decision to abrogate Article 370 and also held them responsible for the Chinese aggression at the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh questions were raised in TV debates with regard to timing and converting the bilateral issue into a tripartite issue ahead of a long winter season.
What Dr Abdullah actually said…
In the absence of any dialogue between the leaders of Kashmir valley, Dr Farooq Abdullah was looking for an opportunity to provoke New Delhi. He attempted to raise the issue inside the Parliament but he was prevented from doing so. In between Dr Abdullah interacted with like-minded media persons in New Delhi and in Kashmir valley and repeatedly demanded the restoration of Article 370 but in vain.
On Sunday when he was approached by a local reporter in Srinagar to share his observations he sensed an opportunity to once again raise the issue. Dr Abdullah then went on to claim that China “never accepted” the Abrogation of Article 370 and hoped that it would be restored with China’s support.
“Whatever they are doing at LAC in Ladakh all because of the abrogation of Article 370, which they never accepted. I am hopeful that with their support, Article 370 will be restored in J&K,” Farooq Abdullah said.
Taking a dig at the Prime Minister, Dr Abdullah claimed, “I never invited the Chinese President, it was the Prime Minister who not only invited him to Gujarat but did jhoola sawari with him. He even took him to Chennai and had food with him. Even then the decision (Abrogation of Article 370) taken by the government was not unacceptable to them”.
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.