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J&K National Conference Party Rips Claim That Leader Hoped for China's Support for Kashmiri Autonomy

© AP Photo / Dar YasinFILE - This April 5, 2016 file photo shows a view of Srinagar, the main city of Indian controlled Kashmir, as seen from the 18th century Hari Parbat Fort situated atop a hill
FILE - This April 5, 2016 file photo shows a view of Srinagar, the main city of Indian controlled Kashmir, as seen from the 18th century Hari Parbat Fort situated atop a hill - Sputnik International
A row ensued after Farooq Abdullah, president of Jammu and Kashmir’s oldest political party National Conference (NC), reportedly said that he hoped Kashmir’s semi-autonomous status, abrogated by New Delhi in 2019, would be restored with China’s support during a TV interview on Sunday.

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah’s political party, National Conference (NC), has denied that its President Farooq Abdullah said that China will help Kashmir in restoring its semi-autonomy during a TV interview.

"Our president articulated the people's anger over the abrogation of Article 370 and 35-A by Parliament on 5 August last year, as he has consistently done in recent months. He emphasised that no one in Jammu and Kashmir was willing to accept these changes," a spokesperson of National Conference (NC) said.

The party said Abdullah’s statements have been “completely twisted” by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesman Sambit Patra, who on Monday accused the veteran Kashmiri politician and former chief minister of making "seditious and anti-national" remarks.

"Sambit Patra has a habit of twisting words and using the bully pulpit of the BJP office to lie when it suits the political agenda of his party,” said the NC spokesperson.

The comments from former Jammu and Kashmir state chief Farooq Abdullah were made during a TV interview against the backdrop of New Delhi scrapping Article 370 (special status) of Jammu and Kashmir and the ongoing border standoff between India and China in Ladakh which began in early May.

Signs displaying area distance are seen at a hilltop post during a trip organised by the army, near the Line of Control (LoC), in Charikot Sector, Kashmir July 22, 2020 - Sputnik International
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Abdullah had allegedly stated that China “never accepted” the scrapping of the semi-autonomous status of Jammu and Kashmir and wanted article 370 to be restored.

“May Allah [God] wish that our people get help from their might and our Articles 370 and 35-A get restored,” Hindustan Times quoted Abdullah as saying in the TV interview.

The BJP on Monday slammed Abdullah and called it a "seditious and anti-national" remark, as Patra said in a press conference that it is worrisome that Abdullah "justifies the expansionist attitude of China" and that he had become a "hero in China".

India and China have been locked in a border dispute for over five months now over the loosely-demarcated Line of Actual Control in Ladakh. The situation was aggravated following border clashes, when 20 Indian soldiers were killed in hand-to-hand combat with Chinese military personnel in mid-June. Both sides have been engaged in discussions for months at different levels to deescalate the prevailing border tension.

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