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Azad meets ‘friend’ Farooq, demands restoration of statehood

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Srinagar, Mar 14: A day after he was released from detention, National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah met senior Congress leader and former J&K CM Ghulam Nabi Azad here on Saturday.

The duo jointly addressed media persons at Abdullah’s Gupkar residence.


Azad, who specifically travelled to Kashmir from Delhi to meet Farooq, said that the key of development for Jammu and Kashmir is not in putting the leaders here in detention, but the mission can only be carried out after the leaders are released and a political process is initiated.

Abdullah didn’t talk to media persons, but said that he spoke to the media persons on Friday and will allow only Azad to speak.

“It is the happiest moment for me that after seven months I have met Farooq sahab who remained under detention. Even after Farooq Sahab was released, we still don’t know the reasons why he was detained in the first place,” said Azad during the presser.  

He also demanded restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir..

The leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha said that carving the erstwhile J&K State into the Union Territory was an “insult” to the people living here.

He added that detention was for those who violated laws or were involved in “anti-national and anti-government activities.”

“But in wake of abrogation of Article 370, many leaders irrespective of their affiliation with any party were put under detention. Therefore, there is no question of any violation by these leaders,” he said.

Azad said he met Farooq as a friend and a leader from other party.

He added that he also met him on behalf of those who raised voice against the detention of these leaders since August last year either in parliament or at different platforms.

“The love and friendship with Abdullah was the reason behind meeting him today,” Azad said, adding that he has informed him about the developments that took place during the period of his detention.

“I know what difficulties you have faced,” Azad told Abdullah in front of media persons, adding that “keeping in view of his age and health, putting Abdullah under detention was nothing but excess from the government.”

“With the initiation of political process, the elections should also be held and those who will be elected by the people can take decisions regarding the development in a better way,” he said.

He added that in last three years, all the development process in Jammu and Kashmir has come to a grinding halt and with this, the locals are sufferings, adding that almost every sector including tourism, Handcraft others not only in Kashmir but in Jammu too has got badly affected.

Azad said all this damage can be repaired by releasing these leaders and initiating a political process.