August 1998 News


Kashmir is Taliban's Next Destination: Farooq

19th August 1998

SRINAGAR, Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah today asked the people of his State to be ready for Taliban militia in Kashmir. He also said the ongoing military and border firing was not a proxy war but real war. "Soon after things in Afghanistan will settle down, Kashmir will be their (Taliban) next destination", he said and asked his legislators to visit their constituencies and prepare the people in the coming days.

Responding to a call attention motion moved by Gulchain Singh in the upper house here, he said the situation in the State is akin to literal war and not proxy war. They (Pakistan) are using heavy artillery and "I witnessed a leg of a young girl being amputated in Taudhar recently", he added. The call attention revolved round the situation arising after the migration of around 500 families from Darhal area of Rajouri following stepped up militant violence in the area. Minister of State for Home Mr Mushtaq Ahmad Lone admitted that around 200 villagers from Darhal area migrated to Rajouri on August 14, and are putting up with their relatives. The migration, he said, seems to have been partly engineered by the anti national militant and partly because of some threat perceptions.

In Darhal falling in Jammu region, the migration followed an encounter on August 12, in which an army officer was injured and a militant killed. Later explaining the situation, the chief minister who also holds the home portfolio said in the same Darhal belt two close relatives of former assembly speaker Mirza Abdul Rashid were killed on August 16. The migration, he said, was the result of apprehension among locals that the security forces might retaliate After their losses in the earlier encounter. Dr Abdullah said Pakistan continues to keep its priority of creating trouble in the State. The security forces, he said, stand divided. Now, however, the State has formulated a plan under which security on the borders would be tightened so that there is minimum infiltration, the chief minister said adding the greater the vigil the lesser will be the troubles in the State. He announced that a garrison is being set up in Baderwah town of Doda district.

Earlier in the Assembly Congress members lead by Ms Mehbooba Mufti walked out on the issue of people who get killed in cross firing. While Minister of State for Home Mr Mushtaq Ahmed Lone was replying to a question, Ms Mufti sought clarification from government on the killing of nine Muslims in Doda immediately after Wandhama massacre in January last.


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