Farooq Abdullah demands 4G, not Article 370, in parliament

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National Conference (NC) President and Member of Parliament from Srinagar, Dr. Farooq Abdullah skipped the issue of the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s semi-autonomy in his first address in the parliament, since 5 August 2019. Dr. Abdullah, however, demanded the restoration of high speed internet in the region and dialogue with Pakistan.

In August, this year, the NC had announced that it would launch a joint political struggle along with other major regional parties, includings its arch-rival, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) — under the Gupkar Declaration — for the restoration of the Jammu and Kashmir’s semi-autonomy and statehood as on 4 August 2019. The leaders of the regional political parties signed the declaration on the eve of the abrogation, resolving to a united stand in defending the identity, autonomy and semi-autonomy of J-K.

A year later the former chief minister of J-K made no mention of the scrapping of special staus of the erstwhile state.

Dr. Farooq however, advocated talks with Pakistan, saying if India can talk to China to defuse their border row, it can also speak to its other neighbour to deal with the situation at Jammu and Kashmir borders.

“Border skirmishes have been rising and people are dying… A way has to be found to deal with this. Except for talks… As you are talking to China to attempt that it withdraws (from Ladakh border), we should also talk to our (other) neighbour to find a way to get out of this situation,” he was quoted as saying by Press Trust of India in Lok Sabha during the Zero Hour amid protests from treasury benches.

He also expressed his happiness at the findings of an Army inquiry into the killings of three men in Shopian in an encounter.

“I am happy that the Army has admitted that three Shopian men were killed mistakenly. I hope the government gives a hefty compensation,” he said.

Dr. Abdullah said Jammu and Kashmir has not seen any progress and spoke about authorities blocking 4G facilities in the Union Territory which, he added, goes against the interest of students and traders.

He also conveyed his gratitude to parliamentarians for speaking for him when he was under detention.

Dr. Abdullah and many other leaders were put under detention by authorities last year after the Union government abrogated Article 370, which had given special powers to the erstwhile state, and split Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories. He was released in March this year.

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