Member of Parliament and National Conference President, Farooq Abdullah on Saturday said that restoration of internal autonomy for J-K is the remedy for the unrest in the state, not the demand for “azaadi”.

Farooq, who was talking to media persons on the sidelines of a party function in Srinagar, said azaadi (independence for Kashmir) was not an issue as being landlocked between the atomic powers of India, Pakistan and China we will not be in a position to survive. In an obvious reference to the separatists, he said those talking of “azaadi” were misleading the people.

He said that Jammu and Kashmir is as much India’s part, as Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) is rightfully of Pakistan. We should accept this reality, as war is no solution to retrieve the PoK.

Central minister Jitendra Singh, who raised  the issue of final accession of J&K with India through the Instrument of Accession that the then ruler Hari Singh had signed,  should also remember that internal autonomy for J-K was part of the same ‘instrument’.

Farooq said that in order to resolve the Kashmir issue, India has to speak to Pakistan to see that autonomy was granted to people on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC).

The NC chief accused India of “betraying us” as they didn’t reciprocate the love with which we chose to join them. That is the root cause of the current unrest in Kashmir. Internal autonomy is our right and it should be restored for peace to return.

Farooq refused to react to the plebiscite demand of the separatists. “I am not part of the Hurriyat”, he said.

Reacting to a question about fruitfulness of the dialogue process that has been initiated by the interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma, Farooq said that only Sharma can tell how much successful his visit was. But the problem in Kashmir would not be solved by such dialogues and the remedy could be found only when India and Pakistan talk on the issue, Farooq added.