24 Sep 2020: Kashmiris would rather be ruled by Chinese, says Farooq Abdullah
National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, who was the Chief Minister of the erstwhile state Jammu and Kashmir, has claimed Kashmiris would rather be ruled by the Chinese than the Indian government, a remark that will certainly spark a political slugfest.
Abdullah claimed Kashmiris "don't feel like Indians" at the moment, see themselves as "slaves" and "second class citizens."
Here's more on what he said.
Protests: Widespread protests would happen if soldiers leave Kashmir: Abdullah
He claimed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government was "disillusioned" about the sentiments in the Valley.
Asserting that no protests in a year were not a standard to judge peace, Abdullah said if restrictions are removed, people would come out in tens of lakhs.
Fact: Abdullah's "Chinese-governance" comment comes amid Delhi-Beijing tensions
During the interview, Abdullah reiterated that he was serious about Kashmiris wanting to be ruled by Chinese. His controversial remarks come at a time when the Indo-China conflict has reached new heights, with New Delhi repeatedly asking PLA to retreat to its original posts in Ladakh.
Trust: He also claimed Kashmiris no longer trust the Indian government
Further, Abdullah said Kashmiris have lost trust in the Central government as the binding force — the special status — has been snapped.
He also spoke about his meeting with PM Modi, roughly 72 hours before the historic move in the Parliament.
He said PM Modi didn't give any hints and made him believe that troops were being deployed in Kashmir for security.
Statement: Centre saw me as traitor, Kashmiris as Indian servant: Abdullah
After Article 370 was rescinded in a surprise move, all mainstream politicians in Kashmir were discredited by locals, Abdullah went on.
He said the Centre saw him as a traitor, arrested him, and Kashmiris thought of him as an "Indian servant."
They taunted him for uttering "Bharat Mata Ki Jai," he claimed. All of this had a deep impact on his mental well-being.
Mehbooba: Is Mehbooba not human, asked Abdullah; questioned her continued detention
Meanwhile, Abdullah was visibly upset with the detention of Mehbooba Mufti, his political adversary.
Although Abdullah and his son Omar were released from detention after seven-eight months, the PDP Chief continues to languish in captivity.
"Is she a criminal? How can it (her incarceration) not (affect me)? She is a human after all," Abdullah said.
Notably, all three ex-CMs were held in August 2019.
Details: On contesting polls, Abdullah said NC will take decision democratically
Though Abdullah had numerous complaints with the Centre, he expressed faith in the Supreme Court, urging the judges to take up his party's petition soon.
When asked if NC would contest Assembly elections, Abdullah said the party will take a decision democratically.
Earlier, Omar had announced NC wouldn't contest polls until the special status is restored. Abdullah Sr. called it Omar's "personal opinion."
Vow: Abdullah pledged to fight for Kashmir's dignity till last breath
The 82-year-old said all parties collectively issued the Gupkar Declaration of August 2019, demanding that the special status of the state is restored. The demand was reiterated on August 22.
Abdullah promised to fight for the "dignity of Kashmiris" until his last breath, albeit peacefully.
Recently, the politician attended Lok Sabha's Monsoon Session, for the first time since Article 370 and 35A were removed.