May 2000 News

Farooq: Greater autonomy to cure all problems of J-K

23 May 2000
Hindustan Times
Arun Joshi

Srinagar: JAMMU AND Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah has sensed positive signs in the global opinion that the ''greater autonomy'' to the State and conversion of line of control (LoC) into an international border were the only solutions to the crisis that plagues South Asia. ''It is not only me but many in the country and abroad who see hope for peace and tranquillity in these measures''. In an exclusive interview to The Hindustan Times this morning, the Chief Minister said: ''The global opinion is firmly converging toward the point that the LOC be made de facto border between India and Pakistan''. Thereafter, ''greater autonomy'' to the State to meet the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Asked if the special week-long session of the State Assembly beginning from June 19 will pass any resolution on autonomy, he quipped: ''No, no resolution is going to be passed. That would be pushing matters too far''. There were speculations in media that the National Conference, the ruling party, would push the matters to brink for the Centre by passing a resolution on grant of greater autonomy to the State.The State government has already endorsed the State Autonomy Committee (SAC) report that seeks reversal of all central laws extended to Jammu and Kashmir after 1952 and also seeks revival of the autonomous status and the titles of Sadar-e-Riysat for head of the state and Wazir-e-Azam for the Prime Minister. The SAC report was submitted by the panel chairman Ghulam Mohi-ud-Din Shah and other members of the committee in April last year. ''It is only a debate in which the opinions will be elicited and discussed'', Mr. Abdullah said. He reiterated that the autonomy issue would be discussed at the national level. “It will be there because this is the only solution. There is no other solution - neither Azadi (freedom) nor merger with Pakistan is possible''. Regarding the proposed talks between the Centre and the All Parties Hurriyat Conference ( PHC), he observed that the Hurriyat is yet to make up its mind what it has to talk. “There are fissures within the Hurriyat Conference. They have not been able to reconcile to those differences. If they want to contribute to peace in any manner, that is good. But they are not doing so.”


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