16 January, 2021

The Doctor’s Swansong

With the PDP silent on its ‘self-rule’ agenda, NC’s Farooq Abdullah goes all out for autonomy in J&K

Photograph by PTI
The Doctor’s Swansong

Unlike all others in Jammu and Kashmir’s grand old party, the National Conference (NC), its patron Dr Farooq Abdullah is trying to come across as more statesman than politician, creating ripples outside the state too. Of late, he has been urging India and Pak­istan to find a solution to the Kashmir issue without trying to wrestle away each other’s territ­ory, which could devastate the entire region. “Yes, it (PoK) belongs to them (Pakistan). It has been with Pakistan for the past 70 years. You haven’t been able to take it back, what will you do now?” asks Farooq, who tur­ned 80 this year.

But the separatists—who see Farooq as a lead player in what has unfolded in Kashmir since the allegedly rigged 1987 assembly election—aren’t buying it. “People are turning away from the mainstream,” says Tanvir Sadiq, NC working president Omar Abdullah. While Sadiq blames Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti for lowering the dignity of the CM’s office and making people lose faith in mainstream parties, others say...



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