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SOURCE: PTI

As India assumes the G20 presidency for a year from next month, National Conference president Farooq Abdullah on Monday said the country can use this opportunity to engage Pakistan to address Kashmir issue and also help the world end the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said he was tired of advocating dialogue with Pakistan to be dubbed as “anti-national”. “I am happy that we (India) are assuming the presidency of G20 and I hope that Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) will be successful in ending the Russia-Ukraine war that had badly hit the economy of the world,” Abdullah told reporters here.

He said it would be better for the global population if India is able to defuse the crisis.

“Secondly, we have a problem with our neighbouring country (Pakistan over Kashmir). There can be a possibility to seek a solution (to the issue) to end our hardships,” Abdullah said.

India will assume the G20 presidency for a year on December 1 and chair over 200 meetings that aim to secure global economic growth and prosperity. Together, the G-20 countries represent more than 80 per cent of the world’s GDP, 75 per cent of international trade and 60 per cent of the world’s population.

Asked whether he favours dialogue with Pakistan, the National Conference leader said, “When I bat for dialogue with Pakistan, Home Minister says that they will talk to children (of J&K) but not Pakistan.” “Our fight is with them (Pakistan) and not with our children…now I am tired of asking for dialogue with Pakistan as they dub me as anti-national (for my statements),” he said, adding one day “they (central government) have to hold talks (with Pakistan) but how it is going to happen, I do not know”.

On increase in radicalization which is evident with the daily arrest of hybrid terrorists in Kashmir by security agencies, Abdullah said “there is nothing like radicalization…we are fighting a low intensity war and there is no other way”.

Abdullah, who is also an MP, said the National Conference does not know when the Assembly elections are going to take place in Jammu and Kashmir.

“It is the decision of the government and the Election Commission when they are going to hold the assembly elections in J&K. It is my responsibility to come here, meet the public to know their problems and highlight their issues in the Parliament,” he said.