July 2000 News

Rejection by Parliament won’t deter us’

3 July 2000
The Hindustan Times

Bangalore: JAMMU AND Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah today asserted that the issue over the demand for autonomy for his state “will not end” even if Parliament rejected it. “How should it matter if Parliament rejects it? We will continue to talk about it (autonomy). It will not end,” he said. He said the demand was a “people''s aspiration'' and it was Parliament which promised it. “It is not Farooq Abdullah who has promised. It was the great leader Nehru who piloted the bill in Parliament (on the subject),'' he said, when asked what he would do if Parliament rejected the Jammu and Kashmir assembly resolution on autonomy. Mr Abdullah stressed that he wanted a national debate and a consensus on the autonomy issue and added he respected the Constitution of India and was for a solution within the constitutional framework. Reacting to a question about reports that he had raked up the demand for autonomy to put a spoke in the proposed talks between the Centre and the Hurriyat leaders, he said it was a ''malicious rumour''. He made a scathing attack on Hurriyat charging that it was merely ''Pakistan-made'' and that its leaders were being financed and supplied arms by Pakistan. “You think Hurriyat is a great panacea to India. Part of Hurriyat wants to give Kashmir to Pakistan. Part of them want independence from India. Go ahead and give them,” he said. “They (the Centre) must talk to them (Hurriyat)” to make the people of India “realise what Hurriyat is all about,” Abdullah said. Asked if the NC would continue to be part of the nda, he shot back, “What is wrong in being in the NDA?”


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