SRINAGAR: National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah on Thursday reiterated his stand on Article 370 and Article 35-A, aying that those who are trying to tinker with these articles are playing with fire. It is to be noted that Article 370 and Article 35-A of the Constitution guarantee special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
The veteran NC leader stressed that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir is already volatile and steps should be taken to restore peace in the state, PTI reported. "The need of the hour is to douse these flames and not to add fuel to the fire," Abdullah said.
The former chief minister stressed that Kashmiris are very strong and no one can think of subduing them. "History bears the testimony to the fact that no one was able to enslave Kashmiris. We have fought Mughals, Pathans and other despotic regimes and never let anyone subdue us," noted Abdullah.
The NC chief said that Kashmiris will respect New Delhi only when they will get respect from the other side. "New Delhi will have our respect, only if they respect the people of this state. No one should dare tinker with our self esteem for the Kashmiris have always responded to the brickbats thrown at them with determination," he said.
Abdullah also warned the people of state against those who want to take away special status from Jammu and Kashmir. He added that those who are against state's special status come in different hues and colors trying to destroy it.
"Kashmiris, however, have never allowed such forces to succeed in their nefarious designs; today the situation is no different. Today we see the BJP-RSS cheekily taking vows to destroy the identity and integrity of our state," he said.
Defending Article 370 and Article 35-A, the NC chief said that these articles protect the state natives rights to jobs, land holdings and scholarships. He threatened any attempt to tinker with these articles will not go down well with the people of the state.
Abdullah, however, asked the people of state to look for the solution to their problems through ballots and not bullets.
"The problem cannot be resolved by using guns or pelting stones. It is only through the use of vote that the people of Kashmir can find a way forward," he said.