Farooq sticks to "PoK is part of Pak" remark, draws BJP flak

BJP assailed Abdullah over his remark, saying he was raking up the issue to "remain in news for political survival.

Jammu: National Conference Patron Farooq Abdullah on Saturday stuck to his "PoK is part of Pakistan" remark, insisting that nulear-armed India and Pakistan cannot make each other cede territory held by them and that dialogue was the only way forward, prompting the BJP to seek an apology from him.

"Ever since I came into politics, I have always said that this state (PoK and J-K) can never become one. Neither do we have the power to take back their part (PoK) nor have they (Pakistan) the power to take our part; we are a nuclear power and they, too, are," he said.

"The only way left is to hold dialogue and find a solution (to the Kashmir issue)," the former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister said at a discussion by civil society to explore ways for bringing peace and reconciliation between the two countries.

BJP, meanwhile, assailed Abdullah over his remark, saying he was raking up the issue to "remain in news for political survival".

"Probably Farooq Abdullah is either suffering from amnesia or deliberately raking up the settled issue in order to remain in news for his political survival," BJP spokesperson Virender Gupta told reporters here.

"Abdullah must apologise to the nation," Gupta said.

Union Minister of State in the PMO, Jitendra Singh also flayed Abdullah for his remark.

"How did the National Conference leader forget that when Indian Parliament unanimously passed the resolution in 1994 stating that the only outstanding dispute with Pakistan was about the PoK and how to reclaim it, his party MP had supported that resolution", Singh told reporters on the sidelines of a function at Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir.

Abdullah said he was hopeful of a resolution to the Kashmir imbroglio when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister, but that did not happen.

He, however, clarified "I never said it was the ultimate solution that they keep their part and we keep ours. If you have a better solution acceptable to a majority of Indians, Pakistanis and J-K citizens, it is also acceptable to us."

Referring to the 1994 Parliament resolution on PoK, Abdullah said nothing has been done following its adoption unanimously to reclaim area under Pakistani occupation.

"They say there is a resolution in Parliament; but tell me what the Parliament has done so far to reclaim that part.

"You passed the resolution, tell me how many resolutions are there in United Nations regarding Kashmir; have any of those been implemented. People on both sides are suffering due to the cross-border firing," he said.

Replying to queries about the reported demand in PoK of joining India, Abdullah yesterday said it will never happen and the two countries will continue to hold territories of the state under their respective control.

"It will never happen. It (PoK) is part of Pakistan and will remain part of Pakistan. This (Jammu and Kashmir) is India's part and will remain part of India, you have to understand this," the NC leader had told reporters.

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