Situation won’t improve till India, Pak hold dialogue’

National Conference president Farooq Abdullah said on Sunday that holding the G20 event in Kashmir will not benefit tourism in the Valley until India and Pakistan resolve the “future” of the Union Territory through dialogue. He also said Jammu and Kashmir was suffering heavy losses because of the lack of an elected government. “The question is whether we will benefit in terms of tourism arrivals from these countries.” That cannot happen till the situation here does not improve, and the situation will not improve till the two big countries do not hold dialogue on how to shape the future of this state,” Abdullah told reporters here.
The NC president was responding to a question about whether holding the G20 meeting in Srinagar would benefit the union territory. “We did. The roads, which had been in bad shape for many years, were repaired. The walls got a fresh coat of paint. The street lights started working. So we did benefit from it,” he said.
Over the lack of an elected government in J and K, Abdullah said, “Democracy is when there is an elected government. One LG and his advisor cannot look after the entire state. There are MLAs who look after their respective areas, as it is their duty. The bureaucracy is not bothered by these things, as they do not retire until the age of 60. An MLA has to go back to the people every five years. If he doesn’t work, he won’t get the votes. Therefore, it is very important that elections be held here,” he said.
Responding to the statement of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha that a few parties in Kashmir had hijacked the elections in the past, Abdullah said, “Don’t they have means to counter it? They can approach the high court or the election commission.
Even Indira Gandhi was ousted by the High Court. There are avenues.” On the Odisha train accident, he said it was one of the major disasters in the world. More than 300 people died and hundreds more were injured, he said.
“There should be a probe as to how it happened and who is responsible for it,” Abdullah said. The incident involving the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express and Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express, which were carrying around 2,500 passengers, and a goods train occurred around 7 p.m.
on Friday near the Bahanaga Bazar station in Balasore. At least 288 people were killed and over 1,100 were injured.

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