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Srinagar: National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah on Friday said India and Pakistan should consider all possible options to resolve the Kashmir issue.

His remarks came in defence of his comments on the US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley’s statement that the Trump administration would try and “find its place” in the efforts to de-escalate Indo-Pak tension.

There is a hue and cry about my comments about the US statement extending an offer of mediation to India and Pakistan. For 70 years, India and Pakistan have failed to resolve the Kashmir issue and have taken the people of Kashmir for granted, the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said.

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“For how long will we watch our children lose their lives while New Delhi and Islamabad choose to offer little beyond lip-service and rhetoric to us? I implore both New Delhi and Islamabad to consider all possible options, including an offer of mediation, to try and resolve this long pending issue that has consumed thousands of lives,” Abdullah said addressing party workers and supporters at a convention in Ganderbal.

The former Union minister said the question of third-party mediation would not have arisen had the two countries shown “seriousness” in resolving the issue.

“So before blaming me or them, it is time for introspection in New Delhi,” he said.

Reacting to the US Ambassador’s statement, Abdullah had on Thursday said New Delhi and Islamabad’s “failure” to engage with each other bilaterally over the years had added weight to the argument for “international mediation”.

“New Delhi cannot remain invested in the status-quo on the Kashmir issue and all possible methods of engagement and facilitation could be explored in the quest for a lasting resolution.

“NC has always advocated and encouraged bilateral engagement between New Delhi and Islamabad on the Kashmir issue but unfortunately whatever rare efforts were made to engage bilaterally failed to yield any concrete results,” he had said.

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