|Early Times Report|
UDHAMPUR, Mar 7: Stressing the need for a thaw in the relations between India and Pakistan, the National Conference President Dr Farooq Abdullah said this will hugely benefit the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
"Hostilities on borders bring only agonies and miseries to the dwellers, halt agriculture and economic activities, and impact the way of life of every segment of society", Dr Farooq Abdullah said while addressing a National Conference workers here this afternoon.
Referring to the recent reiteration by both the countries to abide by ceasefire agreement in letter and spirit, the former Chief Minister and Member Parliament said the people of Jammu and Kashmir wish and pray for success of this measure, as it will bring some sort of relief to them. He said both the countries are spending a substantial portion of budget on defence procurements thus depriving welfare of their poor populations. He said peace is in the larger interest of the region, especially as the people of the two countries have been yearning for good relations.
Invoking the words of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee that "you can change your friends but not your neighbours", Dr Farooq said that either the two countries have to grow friendship and prosper or continue the enmity and then there will be no prosperity.
Echoing apprehensions in the minds of the people of Jammu and Kashmir about their lands and jobs going in the wake of August 2019 political developments, the National Conference chief said that Article 370 was not just a Kashmir centric issue, it was as much important to the regions of Jammu and Ladakh as well. To save the people, especially those of Jammu from the hegemony of the elite and affluent from the neighbouring states, Maharaja Hari Singh brought the law in 1927.
Dr Abdullah exhorted the party cadre to reach out to the people and work for their betterment. The strength of the National Conference comes from the people, who are the real fountainhead of power, which is not to rule but to serve the masses, irrespective of caste, creed, colour and religion.
Along with Provincial President Devender Singh Rana, Dr Abdullah was also accompanied by Provincial Vice President Israr Khan.
The public meeting had been organized by District President Udhampur Rural Mr Ram Parshotam Sharma.
Prominent among those present on the occasion included Ch Mohammad Shafi Advocate, Sunil Verma , District President Udhampur Urban, Lal Chand Musafir, Rajesh Gupta, V.K. Khajuria, Prem Nath, and others.