The Weekend Leader - Farooq wants US, China help to resolve Kashmir issue, Rahul says no

Farooq wants US, China help to resolve Kashmir issue, Rahul says no

New Delhi


Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah on Friday said India needs to take help from the US or China to settle the Kashmir issue, but Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi disagreed, saying no third party should be involved in the matter.

"(US President Donald) Trump himself has said he wants to settle the Kashmir problem. We didn't tell him. Even China said they want to mediate on Kashmir. You have to use someone for the talks," Abdullah told reporters in the Parliament House premises.

He was responding to reporters, who asked if he desired a third party to intervene in the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

The Indian government maintains that there can be no third party involvement in Kashmir.

"How long will you wait for talks? Will you wait for 1,000 years? You have to take the bull by the horns. Sometimes you have to do it. You have atom bomb and they too have atom bomb. How many people will get killed? 

"This is not the way. The only way is dialogue. Take a friend's help, we say we have friends across the world. So take their help for talks and tell them we want to solve it," Abdullah said.

The National Conference leader said he was not saying that Jammu and Kashmir should be handed over to Pakistan.

"If you and I have some tensions and we are unable to sort out the differences, then we use friends to sort out the problem," he said. 

Abdullah said that even after 70 years, the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan had not been resolved.

"No results have come yet... The border is still there... Four battles have been fought. How much more losses you want? The money we spend on buying planes and other war machinery, if used for poor farmers, then the country will develop rapidly.

"You need to find a solution. You won't find anything by being rigid," he added.

Pakistan holds the northern third of Jammu and Kashmir and India the southern two-thirds. India accuses Pakistan of arming and training militants fighting since 1989 to secure secession of Kashmir. 

Meanwhile, diferring with what Abdullah said, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi said: "It is being said that talks should be held with China and Pakistan over Kashmir. But Kashmir is India and India is Kashmir."

He also said that "no third party is needed to settle any internal matters".

However, the Congress leader blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government's policies for the volatile situation in the valley.

"I have been saying this for a long time that Modiji and the National Democratic Alliance's policies have set Jammu and Kashmir on fire," Gandhi added. - IANS