Farukh Abdullah is the son of Shiekh Abdullah, the tallest Kashmiri leader who threw his lot with India and later became Chief Minister of Indian Administered Kashmir. His son Farrukh is a leader in his own right and has been a cabinet minister in the union cabinet under Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He has now stated some home truths, which for long were hidden under rhetoric. Farrukh stated in a recent interview to the Times that POK (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir) was a part of Pakistan and nobody can change that. Farrukh was roundly criticized but his son Omar has defended his father and said that the BJP and other parties could prove his father wrong, by taking steps to annex POK.

The statement of Omar has been reported by NDTV.

A home truth

Farrukh Abdullah has stated a home truth. The dispute with Pakistan has simmered for 70 years and four wars have been fought over Kashmir and yet the status quo has not changed. It shows that neither side has the capability to defeat the other decisively. Farrukh thus stated a reality. People did not look at the second part of his statement where the veteran politician stated that the part of Kashmir with India will remain with India and Pakistan may fight any number of wars, yet they cannot take the Indian administered Kashmir.

This is a very balanced statement and if both countries realize that they will have to be content with what they have, there is a chance of peace returning to the valley.

The LOC will have to be accepted as an international border. This is the only solution to the Kashmir issue that has bedevilled Indo-Pak relations for nearly seven decades.

The problem

The problem commenced in 1947 when the then Maharajah of Kashmir Hari Singh, decided to make a bid for independence. He signed a standstill agreement with both India and Pak but Pak disregarded the agreement and invaded Kashmir.

The Pak troops aided by tribals reached Srinagar and a panic-stricken maharajah signed the instrument of accession to India. The Indian army moved in and threw the Pak invaders back but at a critical moment, with the Pak army and tribals on the run agreed to a cease-fire and reference of the dispute to the UNO. This was one of the biggest blunders committed by Nehru.

Way forward

The situation has not changed for seven decades as Pakistan occupies a third of Kashmir and the LOC marks the control of each country over the portion administered by it. Indian and Pakistani leaders routinely make statements that "entire" Kashmir belongs to it, but the fact is that the LOC is the effective border between POK and Indian Kashmir. Omar is right when he says that apart from rhetoric, India can never capture POK.

Its about time this was the basis of a solution to the Kashmir problem