July 2000 News

Farooq reveals secret Advani plan to split JK

20 July 2000
Asian Age
Shahid Faridi

New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah has told Opposition leaders that Union home minister L.K. Advani wanted the trifurcation of the state into Kashmir, Ladakh and Jammu. ''He wants me to agree, but how can I,'' the chief minister is reported to have said. Dr Abdullah on Wednes-day called on CPI(M) general secretary Harkishen Singh Surjeet, CPI general secretary A.B. Bardhan and Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav. An Opposition leader was reportedly told by Dr Farooq Abdullah that Mr Advani is keen on dividing Jammu and Kashmir into three states. ''Farooq told me that there is pressure on him to accept this line, but he is resisting,'' the leader told The Asian Age. The Opposition members pointed out to Dr Abdullah that ''accepting this line, which also has the support of the United States of America, would have dangerous consequences. After the trifurcation, these very leaders of the Sangh Parivar, who are today seeking to divide the state, would accuse the Kashmiri Muslims of trying to divide the nation. This could ignite communal passions across the country.'' Dr Abdullah expressed concern over being labelled as an anti-national and a traitor by the leaders of the BJP and Shiv Sena. He told leaders of Opposition parties that he was, in fact, deman-ding the resolution of the Kashmir problem within the framework of the Indian Constitution. ''This,'' he is reported to have said, ''is opposed to the stand of the leaders of the Hurriyat Conference, who want involvement of Pakistan as a pre-condition for any dialogue on Kashmir.'' Dr Abdullah expressed anguish over the fact that people who are seeking to internationalise the issue were being released from jail and pampered by the Union government. The Jammu and Kashmir chief minister was advised by the Opposition leaders to hold an all-party conclave on autonomy at Srinagar where political parties from across the country, especially those in power at the Centre, should be asked to spell out how best the Kashmir issue could be resolved. ''Let the parties in power at the Centre speak out publicly on the issue. So far, these parties have been taking one line in public and another, completely divergent, in private,'' an Opposition leader said. The chief minister was also advised to show some flexibility on the autonomy question. He was told not to press for pre-1953 status for the state. Dr Abdullah''s meeting with the Opposition leaders was fruitful in the sense that the Samajwadi Party, which had earlier summarily rejected the autonomy demand of the National Conference terming it ''secessionist,'' hailed the state chief minister as a ''true nationalist who holds the key to the resolution of the Kashmir issue.''


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