Srinagar: Batting for friendly relations between India and Pakistan, Union Minister Farooq Abdullah on Tuesday said bilateral cooperation between the two countries is imperative for lasting peace and sustained development in Jammu and Kashmir and in the sub-continent.
"Friendly relations and bilateral cooperation between India and Pakistan is a must for lasting peace and sustained development in the sub-continent and especially in Jammu and Kashmir," Abdullah, who is seeking re-election from Srinagar Parliamentary constituency, said addressing a public meeting at Khan Sahib in Budgam district.
Praising his Chief Minister son, the National Conference president said it was Omar Abdullah who, in the presence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi unequivocally and unambiguously said that Kashmir issue was political in nature and not an economic or governance-related problem and hence, needed a political initiative.
"Our party founder Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah was one of the biggest advocates of Indo-Pak friendship and it was Sheikh sahib who envisioned the opening of the Srinagar- Muzaffarbad Road and permanent economic and cultural exchanges between two side of the Line of Control," he said.
The Minister said various important Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) including the opening of Srinagar-Muzaffarabad Road were fruits of sustained diplomatic engagement between New Delhi and Islamabad.
He also hit out at former Chief Minister and PDP Patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed for taking credit for the implementation of these historic steps taken by NC to bring people of the two sides closer to each other.
"Mufti Sayeed has always invested most of his time and energy in claiming credit for the achievements and work of other people and this is something that PDP has now adopted as its official policy. While political marketing of actual achievements is a common part of politics now, marketing of non-existent work and lies is something that PDP has achieved a specialisation in," Abdullah said.
The Minister said NC had advocated the partial revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) while in the government, unlike PDP leaders who chose to stay silent about these issues when they were in power but enacted theatrics while in the opposition in the State.