Coming down heavily on the mob that heckled him during Eid prayers in Srinagar on Wednesday, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah said that he will not be cowed down by such acts.
Defending his “Bharat Mata ki Jai” chant at former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s condolence meeting in New Delhi last week, Farooq Abdullah said there was nothing wrong in it.
“Are we not part of India? Are we part of Pakistan?” Farooq Abdullah asked.
“We are part of India. We’ll live here, and we’ll die here. Kashmiris are not traitors,” he asserted.
Slamming those raising slogans of freedom, Farooq Abdullah said that Kashmir needs freedom from unemployment, illness and starvation.
Farooq Abdullah said that India belonged to people of all religions, be it Hindus, Muslims, Christians or Buddhists.
Watch: Farooq Abdullah defends his ‘Bharat mata ki jai’ chant
Blasting those who heckled him and others, Farooq Abdullah said that it was deplorable that they did it on Eid when people had gathered for offering prayers.
Asserting that he’ll not be cowed down by such incidents, Farood Abdullah said,” I am not one who will get scared by such acts. If they think that such acts will bring them ‘aazadi’ then I want to ask them to first get ‘aazadi’ from unemployment, illness and starvation.”
Underlining the need for dialogue between India and Pakistan, Farooq Abdullah said that time has arrived to get rid of hatred.
“Today, the time has come to have a peaceful dialogue between India and Pakistan. There is a need to get rid of hatred,” he said.
“This country belongs to Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians and all those who live here,” he added.
Farooq Abdullah also condemned the killing of a BJP workers in the Kashmir valley.
Welcoming new Governor Satya Pal Malik, Abdullah said that he expected him to take things forward from the point the outgoing Governor NN Vohra had left them.
Abdullah was heckled on Wednesday even before the imam, leading the congregational prayers, could begin the Eid sermon. Shoes were also hurled by the protestors.
Watch: Farooq abdullah says Kashmiris are part of India