Former chief minister of Indian-Occupied Kashmir (IOK) Farooq Abdullah has said Azad Kashmir “rightfully belongs to Pakistan”, according to India’s Times Now.
“I am telling the world clearly. The part which is with Pakistan belongs to Pakistan and this is India’s part. If they want peace, the government will have to talk to Pakistan and will have to give autonomy to us as well as to them,” Abdullah told reporters on Saturday.
“A Pakistan minister very rightly said that you forget that the part which is yours was acquired by an instrument of accession. You forget the instrument of accession and say that that part is yours. If you talk about this being your part, then remember the instrument as well,” said Abdullah, who also heads the National Conference party. He was speaking about the government-appointed interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma’s conversations with stakeholders in the disputed Jammu and Kashmir region.
“He [Sharma] has held talks but talks alone are not the solution. This issue is between India and Pakistan. The Indian government must also hold talks with the Pakistani government because a part of Kashmir is also with them,” Abdullah said.
Hours after Delhi had appointed Sharma for a dialogue with the stakeholders to resolve the Kashmir issue, Abdullah had suggested that the interlocutor should hold talks with Pakistan as well.