Speaking exclusively to Republic TV on Tuesday, senior Congress leader Saifuddin Soz refused to condemn former J&K CM Farooq Abdullah's pro-China remarks. Maintaining that it was wrong to abrogate Article 370, he called upon the Centre to bring in another law to restore the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. According to him, Abdullah was expressing his angst of the people of J&K, who were allegedly under the impression that they are jailed.
Opining that Abdullah did not want China to interfere in the Union Territory, the former Union Minister said that it was important to understand why the NC president is upset. Thereafter, he urged the Union government to commence talks with the mainstream leaders in J&K. Both Soz and Farooq Abdullah were put under house arrest after the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019.
Commenting on Abdullah's remarks, he stated, "You should ask Farooq Abdullah. It was wrong to abrogate Article 370. People want that the Centre should make an equivalent law so that the special status of J&K is restored. We signed the treaty of accession but did not merge with India. Maharaja Hari Singh’s accession was conditional."
He added, "Farooq Abdullah expressed the angst in Kashmir. India’s democracy should not behave in a way that makes people of Kashmir think that they have been jailed. Do not take Farooq Abdullah’s comment literally but try to understand why he is upset. It is not that Abdullah really wants China to meddle. The Centre should start a dialogue in Kashmir. The current Governor is a politician. There should be a dialogue with mainstream politicians. If you jail mainstream politicians, then what is left?"
In a recent interview, Farooq Abdullah claimed that China had never accepted the nullification of Article 370. As per BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra, the former J&K CM tried to justify China's aggression along the Line of Actual Control by citing the constitutional changes in the region. Moreover, he quoted Abdullah as saying, "We will bring back Article 370 with the help of China".
"In the interview, there are two aspects. He stated that since the Indian Parliament abrogated Article 370, it has disturbed China and that's why China is justified for the kind of aggression that it has taken on. In a way, Farooq Abdullah justifies China's expansionist mindset. Going even further, he made an anti-national statement. He said that we will bring back Article 370 with the help of China," BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra remarked.