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Reiterating that the end to terrorism lies in Kashmir solution, National Conference patron Farooq Abdullah on Monday urged India and Pakistan to resolve contentious issues through dialogue while categorically stating that war is not the solution.
The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, however, emphasized that it is important to talks internally before initiating dialogue with Pakistan.
"The present situation in Kashmir is extremely critical and life has come to a standstill. It is written in the agreement of PDP and BJP alliance that they would talk to every stakeholder as well as the Hurriyat. I think it is high time to initiate the dialogue process," Abdullah told ANI.
"Remember what Vajpayeeji said - 'we can't choose our neighbours'. So, we have to talk to Pakistan. There is no other option," he said while asserting that friends can be changed but neighbours cannot.
Abdullah further said that both nations would prosper if the Kashmir issue is resolved at the earliest.
"Either we will prosper with our neighbour by establishing friendship or we will hinder our prosperity as well," he added.
The National Conference leader's assertion comes a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that Pakistan was the 'mother-ship' of terrorism and alleged that the hostile Asian neighbour was hell bent upon patronizing various terrorist groups aimed at breaking the Indian democratic system.
Stating all opposition political parties in Jammu and Kashmir yearned for peace in the state and between India and Pakistan, Abdullah said: "Both countries must sit and have talks on Kashmir. That is the only solution to end terrorism. Otherwise, it will keep on escalating."
"All of us are looking for the way forward and not looking back at what happened. If we live in peace with neighbours, we will all prosper. If we take the route of confrontation, their development might be hampered but ours will also be affected," he told the media after a meeting of the state opposition parties to discuss the altercation between the two Asian neighbours and its impact on the unstable situation in the Kashmir Valley.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)