NEW DELHI: A day after he was criticised for saying that Azad Kashmir would remain with Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir with India, National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah said his remarks were not new.

He actually went a step further and declared that Indian forces could not “defend against terrorists and militants”.

He had said on Friday that “Azad Kashmir (AJK)” would remain with Pakistan and that war was not an option.

He apparently attempted to clarify his statement but ended up repeating what he had said earlier. “AJK will be a part of Pakistan, J&K will be a part of India. It is not something new that I have said,” the former J&K chief minister said.

“All of India’s forces can’t defend against terrorists and militants,” he was further quoted as saying by ANI news agency.

Abdullah was assailed for his remarks, even as his son and former J&K chief minister Omar defended him by saying that this was the long-standing belief of his father.

Farooq Abdullah suggested that interaction between people on the two sides of the divide should be enhanced, instead of focusing on territorial disputes.

“People-to-people contact is essential. That is how fear is fought,” he said.

The disputed Himalayan region is one of the world’s most heavily militarised zones. Clashes and ceasefire violations along the Line of Control also pose a constant risk of escalation of tensions between the two countries.