Enough is Enough Farooq Abdullah

  • Article recaps words spoken by Farooq Abdullah, over the years. Read and form your opinion.

Politicians are known to give weird statements and get away but there is always a limit. One such politician is Dr Farooq Abdullah, a sitting member of the Lok Sabha. He represents Srinagar Parliamentary constituency, an election he won with just 7% voter turnout in 2019.


He is the hereditary president of the National Conference founded by his father, the late Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, who brilliantly manoeuvred the exile of the last ruler of the Dogra Dynasty with full support of then prime minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru.


But for his overriding personal ambition Sheikh almost succeeded in ensuring the Abdullah dynasty ruled the state forever. He was jailed for anti-national activities on the orders of his most trusted ally in New Delhi Pandit Nehru. Once invincible, Sheikh remained in jail for 11 years.


Soon after his arrest, his successor Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad said this in a radio broadcast,


“A fraud was being committed on the interests of the country. The slogan of independence was dangerous. Under the control of an imperialist power an independent Kashmir would have been a serious danger for the people of India.”


67 years later his son and heir Farooq Abdullah is treading on the same path. For the record the family have ruled J&K for nearly 30 years starting 1947.  


Abdullah Family Rule in Jammu and Kashmir – October 1947 onwards 


Nos of Days

1. Sheikh Abdullah

March 1948-October 1951

3 yr, 240 d


Oct1951-August 1953

1 yr, 282 d


Feb 1975-March 1977

2 yr, 29 d


July 1977-Sept82

5 yr, 61 d

2. Farooq Abdullah

Sept 1982-July 84

1 yr, 298 d


Nov 86-19 January 1990

3 yr, 73 d


October 1996-Oct 2002

6 yr, 9

3. Omar Abdullah

January2009-Jan 2005

6 yr, 3 days

Family Rule


29 yrs,265 d

Source Wikipedia


Earlier it was Pakistan. Now Farooq seems to be enamoured by expansionist China. He wants China’s support to help restore Article 370, denied subsequently.


Perhaps, affection for China runs in the family. His father Sheikh Abdullah too was fascinated with China. “The Abdullahs’ fascination with China is not new. Sheikh Abdullah went to Algiers in 1965, the year India and Pakistan went to war, and secretly met then-Chinese PM Zhou Enlai, three years after the India-China war. Sheikh was arrested upon his return for three years.” Source ThePrint


The motive and implications of the statements will be discussed later. Given the standoff with China in eastern Ladakh and the supreme sacrifice by 21 soldiers in Galwan Valley, this time Dr Abdullah has crossed the Laxman Rekha.


Such anti-national rants from the ‘sharp-witted’ politician are not new. 


In the past he got away with similar statements because he was considered indispensable, a moderate face or the plea was that they were made in the heat of the moment during election campaigns.


This article jogs your memory with some key events during his tenure as CM (November 1986 to January 19, 1990 when terrorism in J&K began to rear its head)

Hear Videos – What happened to the Kashmiri Pandits in 1990

Arms seized from Kashmiri militants. Army Exhibition Mumbai 1998.


As Chief Minister and Home Minister he turned a Nelson’s eye to ongoing arms smuggling and movement of youth across the LoC for arms training. 


According to the April 30, 1990 issue of India Today, the F Abdullah government released 70 hard core terrorists between July and December 1989. “All detentions had been confirmed by the Advisory Body headed by the chief justice of the Jammu & Kashmir High Court.”


Incidentally, one of the released terrorists Daud Khan belonged to Ganderbal, Farooq’s constituency. Later he became Deputy Commander of Al-Badr and organised a force of 2500 Kashmiri youth. 


He set the trend for releasing terrorists and later spoke about its ill effects when Mufti Mohammad Syed’s daughter was kidnapped and during the Kandhar Hijacking. 

Prior to that he had visited POJK and shared a platform with Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), a pro-azadi terrorist outfit. He had also allowed Khalistan terrorist groups to train in Jammu.

Burnt Pandit homes in Anantnag.


Farooq was the CM when Kashmiri Pandits were forced to leave the Valley. Then,


People were forced to set their watches to Pakistan Standard Time.


Buildings, offices, shops and government establishments were coloured green as a sign of Islamist rule under the watch of his government.


Open letters, posters, and threats from mosques to minority communities to quit Kashmir were daily happenings.


“This land is only for Muslims and is the land of Allah. Sikhs and Hindus cannot stay here.” 


The streets and mosques verberated with slogans like “Zalimo, O Kafiro, Kashmir hamara chhod do,” “Kashmir mein agar rehna hai, Allah-o-Akbar kahna hai”, “Peoples League ka kya paigam, Fateh, Azadi aur Islam.” “Kashir banawon Pakistan, Bataw varaie, Batneiw saan” (Will turn Kashmir into Pakistan along with Kashmiri Pandit women, but without their men folk). 


Farooq’s government could not control the situation. He left for London when Kashmir was burning (his wife is British).


His mind set can be gauged from this statement published in the Times of India dated February 7, 1991, “I directed my party men to lie low, go across for arms handling, do anything but do not get caught.”


Farooq’s true colours were evident during the campaign for 2014 elections but were ignored as electoral outbursts. 


After BJP’s coalition experiment with PDP failed the Modi government lost no time in showing the Abdullahs and Muftis their place. They initially tried their usual tricks of browbeating the central government, considering themselves a power to be reckoned with in Kashmir. They received nothing but a cold response, which led to their open hatred for Delhi. 


Senior Abdullah tried to strengthen his base in Kashmir through pro-Pak statements and anti-India rants. The aging leader created an image for himself of a rare politician who though politically incorrect, spoke his mind and did not mince words. This helped him get away with many statements which could be termed as bordering against national interests.  


Post two electoral defeats, Farooq regularly began to talk about azadi in order to gain favour with the electorate. His speeches and media bites became belligerent and hostile. The aging Farooq did not want to be recognised in history as one responsible for extinction of Abdullah Dynasty. This made him belligerent and desperate.


Thus, while addressing the media at the mausoleum of his late father on December 6, 2016 he spoke of azadi and offered support to the Hurriyat.


He said, “We will never be free until we are united (against India) and I am asking National Congress workers not to stay away from the movement.” Urging the Hurriyat further he added, “We are part of the movement: don’t take us as your adversaries, we are a part of you. We have fought the jihad. Be united, take this movement forward. Go ahead, we are with you.”  


Four years later he has forged unity among five ideologically different political parties, foes till yesterday, in the form of Gupkar Declaration 2020, a new incarnation of defunct Hurriyat.


Addressing NC workers at the Nawa-e-Subh party headquarters in Srinagar, Abdullah said, “If our children are offering sacrifices today, they do not want to become MLAs or MPs or minister. They offer sacrifices for their ‘rights’. This  is our land and we are its owners, you are not.” He also said, “new generation of militants in the state were fighting for “freedom of this nation. My nation does not fear guns.” Source  


He even raised questions about Pulwama attack and said,


“Forty CRPF personnel were martyred in Pulwama. I have doubts about that and I am telling you the truth,” thus giving clean chit to Pakistan. He even questioned the veracity of Balakot airstrikes.


His outbursts like “POK tumhare baap ka nahi”, “I ask them, first you raise the Tricolour at Lal Chowk in Srinagar. They can’t even do that here and they are talking about POK.” 


He displayed his pro-Pakistan mind set when Dineshwar Sharma was appointed as the interlocutor and he suggested that he should hold talks with Pakistan as well. Isn’t it surprising that since 2002, many political workers of the NC were targeted by the terrorists but not any leader of the party? 


Just before the abrogation of 370 in August 2019, Farooq said, “Kashmir’s relation with India will no longer exist if its special status were to be withdrawn.”  


Soon after this and after the historic announcements of August 5, 2019 he along with other so-called mainstream politicians were put under house arrest.


With the release of Mehbooba Mufti and their frequent interactions the situation in Kashmir is likely to worsen. The Hurriyat is being replaced by the “Gupkaris” (signatories of Gupkar Declarations) with Farooq aiming to replace SAS Gilani and Mehbooba filling the vacuum of Ayesha Andrabi. 


Any delay or miscalculation by the authorities may have severe consequences on return of peace in Kashmir. Hurriyat was backed by Pakistan alone but the “Gupkaris” are seeking Chinese assistance as well. Enough is enough, act now or repent later.


The Abdullah’s ruled the state of Jammu & Kashmir for nearly thirty years. Wonder why they are not held accountable for the present state of affairs? Did they perform their duties to the people of J&K? 


Author is a political commentator, columnist, security and strategic analyst. The views expressed are entirely personal. Article pictures by Sanjeev Nayyar. 


Also read

1. E-Book ‘All you wanted to know about the Kashmir problem

2. Making sense of the J&K 2011 Census numbers

3. Beware, you are in South Kashmir now  


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