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Thursday, August 11, 2022

‘Article 370 wasn’t Kashmir centric’: Farooq says Maharaja brought law in 1927 to save Jammu people from hegemony of Indian elite

National Conference President Dr. Farooq Abdullah on Sunday said to save the people, especially those of Jammu from the hegemony of the elite and affluent from India, erstwhile rule of Jammu and Kashmir Maharaja Hari Singh brought a law in 1927.

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 former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister 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,” he said while addressing a gathering.

Abdullah stressed the need for a thaw in the relations between India and Pakistan, saying 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”, he said.

Referring to the recent reiteration by both the countries to abide by ceasefire agreement in letter and spirit, the Member of Indian Parliament said both the countries are spending a substantial portion of the budget on defence procurements thus depriving welfare of their poor populations.

Invoking the words of former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee that “you can change your friends but not your neighbours”, Abdullah said that either the two countries have to grow friendship and prosper or continue the enmity and then there will be no prosperity.

“We have to maintain, sustain and promote this spirit for making Jammu and Kashmir a better place to live in,” he told the gathering, adding this is what we owe to the posterity.

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