Farooq not serious about autonomy: Lone
6 July 2000
Times of India
Srinagar: Hurriyat leader Abdul Ghani Lone has accused the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah of playing with the sentiments of the people on the autonomy issue and said Kashmiri people want something ''beyond autonomy''. Calling for a meaningful dialogue without pre-conditions for a permanent solution to the Kashmir dispute, Ghani Lone said: ''The National Conference, Farooq Abdullah as well as the Centre have never been interested in autonomy for the people of the state. They are using the issue to play with the sentiments of the Kashmiri people''. The Hurriyat leader said had Farooq Abdullah been serious about the autonomy issue, he should have sought passage of an autonomy Bill in the state legislature instead of a mere resolution, claiming that such a legislation could not have been rejected by the Centre. ''The passage of the autonomy resolution was a ploy by Farooq to postpone introduction of the autonomy Bill only to use it to hoodwink the people of the state'', Lone said. He accused Home Minister L K Advani of following what he called a ''carrot and stick'' policy on Kashmir. ''On one hand Advani talks of opening a dialogue with us. On the other hand he talks of using force to suppress us'', Lone said.