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Farooq Abdullah Bats for Stonepelters, Says They're Doing it For Nation

National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday said Stone-pelting youth were not giving up their lives for tourism but for resolution of the Kashmir issue as per the wishes of its people.

Mufti Islah | CNN-News18

Updated:April 5, 2017, 9:06 PM IST
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Farooq Abdullah Bats for Stonepelters, Says They're Doing it For Nation
National Conference President Farooq Abdullah interacting with his party leaders during a rally of party youth leaders and workers. (PTI Photo)

Srinagar: National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday said Stone-pelting youth were not giving up their lives for tourism but for resolution of the Kashmir issue as per the wishes of its people.

"If he (stone pelting youth) is giving up his life, he is not doing it for tourism. He is giving his life so that the destiny of this nation is decided which should be acceptable to the people of this place. This needs to be understood," Abdullah said at an election meeting in Sonawar constituency.

The former chief minister was reacting to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's statement on April 2 at the inauguration of Chenani-Nashri tunnel that the youth of Kashmir need to choose between tourism and terrorism.

However, it's the timing of his remarks that raises eyebrows. Farooq is facing PDP’s Nazir Ahmad Khan from the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat that fell vacant when PDP’s sitting MP Tariq Karra resigned from the party. At 81, Farooq is fighting hard to help his party, National conference, regain some ground after they lost in 2014 Lok Sabha Elections.

Abdullah's comments received a quick rebuttal from the Minister of State PMO, saying that when he is in power he backs bombing Pakistan, but rakes up the Kashmir issue when he is in opposition.

"Recently the tunnel was opened. He (the Prime Minister) said the youth here should think whether they want tourism or terrorism. I want to tell Modi sahib tourism is our lifeline, there is no doubt about it.

"But he is a stone pelter. He has nothing to do with tourism. He will starve to death but he is pelting stones for his nation and there is a need to understand this," Abdullah said.

To cement his position, Abdullah is seen playing into the hands of voter that tilts towards separatism. Youngsters have clashed with police on a daily basis, even disrupting anti-militancy operations at times.

Abdullah is contesting the by-election to Srinagar Lok Sabha seat as the joint candidate of opposition National Conference and Congress.

(With PTI Inputs)

| Edited by: Mirza Arif Beg
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