National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah has vehemently called for diplomatic dialogue between India and Pakistan, emphasizing the critical need for communication to avert potential adversities. Hitting out at the Narendra Modi-led government, Abdullah stressed that progress and stability in the region hinge upon establishing a channel of dialogue between the two nations.
“Unless dialogue begins, we may meet the same fate as Gaza,” warned Abdullah, drawing attention to the urgency of initiating talks to prevent escalating tensions from spiraling into a dire situation.
Citing former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s poignant statement on India-Pakistan relations – “we can change our friends but not our neighbours” – Abdullah underscored the enduring significance of fostering amicable relations with neighboring countries.
Expressing concern over the absence of substantial dialogue despite statements acknowledging the importance of peaceful resolution, Abdullah questioned the disparity between the expressed intent for dialogue and its actualization. He referenced Prime Minister Modi’s acknowledgment that war is not a viable option and stressed on the necessity of translating these words into meaningful dialogues.
Abdullah’s remarks come in the wake of distressing incidents in Jammu and Kashmir, including the tragic loss of soldiers in an ambush in Poonch, the fatal shooting of a retired cop inside a Baramulla mosque, and the concerning deaths of civilians detained by troops for questioning. These occurrences within a short span have amplified tensions and underscored the pressing need for diplomatic resolution.
Highlighting Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s expressed willingness for dialogue earlier this year, Abdullah emphasized the importance of reciprocating such gestures to foster regional stability. However, India’s response through Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi stressed the need for a terror-free environment as a prerequisite for neighborly relations.
The recurring cycle of violence and strained relations between India and Pakistan underscores the urgency for dialogue and de-escalation measures. Abdullah’s advocacy for diplomatic talks serves as a timely call for action to defuse tensions and pave the way for constructive engagement between the neighboring nations.