Friday 23 October 2020

Farooq Abdullah wants Article 370 restored with Chinese help

In an interview, Abdullah noted that China was not happy with the nullification of Article 370, which was scrapped in August last year by Parliament

National Conference president Farooq Abdullah on 11 October said he wished that with China’s support, Article 370 of the Constitution, which conferred special status on Jammu and Kashmir, will be restored.

In an interview, Abdullah noted that China was not happy with the nullification of Article 370, which was scrapped in August last year by Parliament.

Parliament also pushed through the bifurcation of the erstwhile state into two Union territories — J&K and Ladakh. Abdullah’s statement came against the backdrop of the five-month-long border standoff between India and China in Ladakh which began in early May.

“As far as China is concerned, I didn’t bring Chinese president here. Our Prime Minister invited him to Gujarat and even did jhoola sawari with him. He [PM Modi] even took him to Chennai and had food with him,” he said.

The former chief minister of J&K said that China “never accepted” the nullification of Article 370. “They said till you restore Article 370, we won’t stop because it has now become an open issue,” he said.

“May Allah wish that our people get help from their might and our Articles 370 and 35-A get restored,” Abdullah said. Article 35A of the Indian Constitution empowered the J&K legislature to define permanent residents of the state for providing some special rights and privileges; it too was revoked.

Nearly all of Kashmir’s mainstream political leaders were detained on 5 August, 2019, hours before Parliament nullified Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcated the state into two union territories.

After being incarcerated for months, Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah, both former chief ministers, were released on 13 March and 24 March, respectively.

The special status of Jammu and Kashmir and its reorganisation came into effect on 31 October.

After the abrogation, top Jammu and Kashmir political leaders including Farooq Abdullah, his son and former CM Omar Abdullah and PDP chief and former CM Mehbooba Mufti were put under house arrest. The Abdullahs have been released since.

Currently, India and China are locked in a tense border standoff in Ladakh. Both sides have held a series of high-level diplomatic and military talks to resolve the border row.

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