New Delhi: National Conference (NC) MLA Akbar Lone has stoked a fresh controversy by raising ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogans at a public meeting in Kupwara. The NC leader also said that whoever hurls abuses at Pakistan, he will abuse them back.Also Read - Jammu and Kashmir Administration Takes Back Premises of Kashmir Press Club Amid Factionalism

Mera paar wala wo musalmaan mulk (Pak) hai, wo abaad rahay, vo kamyaab rahe, hamari aur unki dosti badhe, Pak aur Hindustan ki dosti aapas mein rahe, uss dosti ka mai aashiq hun…Agar unko koi ek gali dega mai unko yahan se das galiyan de dunga. (The nation across is a Muslim nation. Pakistan should prosper and progress. Our (India-Pakistan) friendship should remain intact. If someone abuses Pakistan once, I will abuse that person 10 times,” said the Parliamentary candidate of National Conference for North Kashmir’s Baramulla constituency. Also Read - Jammu And Kashmir Extends COVID Curbs; Night, Weekend Curfews Imposed. Details Here

Reacting to the controversial statement, J&K BJP spokesman Altaf Thakur said that his party will approach the Election Commission urging them to nullify his candidature. Also Read - Earthquake of 5.3 Magnitude Strikes Jammu and Kashmir, Tremors Felt Across Valley

“It is the same party which once propgated bombing Pakistan. It is the same party which banned Jamaat-e-Islami. Now they are protesting the ban. They are doing votebank politics. We will be approaching the Election Commission urging them to nullify his candidature in the light of his pro Pakistan statement”, said Thakur.

Last year in February Lone had courted controversy after he shouted ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogans in the Assembly when Sunjuwan Army Camp in Jammu was attacked by a group of JeM terrorists. In the attack, three terrorists were gunned down whereas, seven – six Army men and a civilian – lost their lives. The operation lasted for more than 24 hours and was  regarded as the worst after the 2016 Uri attack.

For the forthcoming elections, Lone is fielded against BJP’s MM War, PDP’s Abdul Qayoom Wani in the Baramulla constituency which is going to polls in first phase on April 11.

Jammu and Kashmir’s six Lok Sabha seats will go to polls in five phases. Baramulla and Jammu constituencies will vote in the first phase. Srinagar and Udhampur constituencies will go to polls in the second phase. Anantnag constituency will go to polls in third, fourth and fifth phases. Ladakh will go to polls in fifth phase. The counting of votes will take place on May 23.