February 2000 News

Farooq disassociates from Sagarís statement

5 February 2000
Daily Excelsior

JAMMU: Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah has reiterated his partyís demand of greater autonomy for the State but disassociated himself from the Ďcontroversialí statement of Mr Ali Mohammed Sagar regarding autonomy or ĎAzadií.

In an informal chat with the media-men here this evening, Dr Abdullah said that autonomy for the State was a poll plank for the National Conference and we were committed to fulfill that demand. "We are demanding autonomy within the constitution of India, which will further strengthen ties between State and Centre", he asserted.

When his attention was drawn towards the statement of Works Minister, Mr Ali Mohammed Sagar in which he had threatened New Delhi of either giving ĎAzadií as being fought for by the separatists or autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir as demanded by the National Conference, the Chief Minister didnít approve Sagarís statement. "I have not read this statement, if there is any such statement, we have nothing to do with it", he clarified.

"We are only for the autonomy of the State that too within the constitution of India", he said and added that Azadi and other separatists slogans are meant for separatists leaders. "Yasin Malik Aur Us Kay Sathion Ko Azadi Magnay Do, Hum To Bharat Kay Nargrik Hain (Let Yasin Malik and his friends befool the people in the name Azadi) " Dr Abdullah said and added that National Conferenceís demand was confined to autonomy only.

Reacting to the joint demand of the Jammu Joint Students Federation, Panun Kashmir and Ladakh Buddhists Association to split the State, the Chief Minister stoutly condemned the demand and asserted that he was very much aware as to who was behind them. "Mujay Patta Hai Un Kay Peeshay Koun Hai", he said.

As reported earlier, three groups of State in a press conference at Delhi had demanded split of the State with statehood for Jammu, separate Home Land for Kashmiri Pandits and Union Terrirotry for Ladakh.


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