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Angry Kashmiris would prefer Chinese rule, says Farooq Abdullah

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25th-Sep-2020       
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Dawn.com, New Delhi :
Besieged Kashmiris, including those that once had faith in their destiny with India, would today prefer to be ruled by China than New Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir's former pro-India chief minister Farooq Abdullah said in a TV interview aired on Wednesday.
"Today Kashm­iris do not feel Indian and do not want to be Indian … They are slaves … They would rather have the Chinese rule them," Mr Abdullah told veteran TV anchor Karan Thapar, in an interview for The Wire online.
Mr Abdullah said every Kashmiri, including those that had opposed joining Pakistan were looking at the India-China border standoff with interest. China has been incensed by India's annexation of Jammu and Kashmir, particularly with the changes made in the status of Ladakh.
The Indian government abrogated special provisions in the constitution, including Article 370 that was seen as critical for the state's conditional pact with India.
Pakistan disputes the pact altogether.
"Every Kashmiri believes the new domicile laws are intended to create a Hindu
majority … The gap between Kashmiris and the rest of the country is wider than ever before and growing," Mr Abdullah said.
In a 44-minute interview to Karan Thapar for The Wire, which went up on The Wire's website between 5 and 6pm (23/9), Farooq Abdullah, the president of the National Conference and a former three time chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, said it was complete rubbish for the BJP to claim that the people of Kashmir have accepted the August 2019 changes just because there have been no protests.
He said if the soldiers on every street and Section 144 were to be lifted people will come out in their tens of lakhs. Dr Abdullah told The Wire that the new domicile law was intended to flood the Valley with Hindus and create a Hindu majority. He said this has further embittered the Kashmiri people.
Asked by The Wire how Kashmiris view the Central government and, in particular, Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, Dr Abdullah said they were deeply disillusioned. He said they had no trust in the Central government. The trust that once bound Kas­hmir to the rest of the country has completely snapped.
Dr Abdullah revealed details of his meeting with the prime minister roughly 72 hours before August 5, 2019 when the constitutional changes in Kashmir were announced. He had met the prime minister seeking assurances about the continuation of Articles 370 and 35A. He asked the prime minister why there were so many troops in the Valley and whether this was because of any perceived military threat.

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