October 2000 News

Mission Kashmir: ''No J&K division''

22 October 2000
The Pioneer

Srinagar: Union Home Minister L K Advani on Sunday rejected the RSS demand for trifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir saying the Centre was not in favour of division of the border State. ''We have made it amply clear so many times that we think the State as a whole should be thought of and we do not favour trifurcation,'' he said after attending meetings of the Unified Headquarters - which is dealing with militancy - and State legislators here along with Defence Minister George Fernandes and Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah. RSS leader-in-charge of the Kashmir affairs Indresh had recently asked the Chief Minister to bring a resolution in the Assembly for trifurcation of the State saying there was both ''logic and merit in such a move''. On the State Government''s demand for autonomy, Mr Advani said the Centre had rejected it ''as it was not possible to return to pre-1953 position''. ''This is not acceptable to us,'' he said. However, he added, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had invited Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah to discuss the issue of giving more powers to states. The manifesto of National Democratic Alliance Government also speaks about the devolution of more power to states, he said and added ''we are committed to it''. Referring to the two meetings earlier in the day, Mr Advani said it was ''a matter of satisfaction'' that ''the State Government and the security forces have once again secured upper hand against militants in the State''. Mr Advani said he and Defence Minister George Fernandes had a detailed meeting with all the three corps commanders, state Director General of Police, Border Security Force commanders and head of several intelligence agencies this afternoon about the prevailing situation in the State. He said state Director General of Police Gurbachan Jagat gave a detailed account about how the State Police was busy in their fight against militants in the State. On the reported instances of human rights violation in the State, Mr Advani said a lot of attention was paid on this issue during the meeting. He said whenever there was any complaint of rights violation by securitymen forces, action was being taken against them. ''Security forces must be humane in their fight against militants as this would only help them win the support of people which is very necessary in dealing with this menace,'' he said. Mr Advani said fight against militancy had to be complimented by acceleration of development process. This, he said, was emphasised by everyone in the meeting. He said the State Government had discussions with the Planning Commission on various projects. ''The Centre will do all it can to see that the expectations of the people about the developmental activities are met,'' he added. The Home Minister said in the post-Kargil period the country has achieved remarkable success in mobilising international opinion against the ''states indulging in cross-border terrorism and states using terrorism as an instrument of policy. And Pakistan is one such State.'' ''It is these various factors put together that have given us a sense of confidence that we will be able to deal with this menace effectively,'' Mr Advani said. About the recent statement of Hizbul Mujahideen that Government of India should announce a unilateral ceasefire, the Home Minister said, ''we never refuse to talk to anybody who is ready to lay down arms.'' ''We are ready to hold negotiations with the militants who abandon arms and come across the table to discuss the things,'' he said. Blaming Pakistan for failure of talks between Hizbul Mujahideen and the Centre Mr Advani said people on both sides of the border were in favour of peace in the region. He pointed out that the Centre had promptly responded to the unilateral ceasefire of Hizbul Mujahideen but Pakistan subverted the dialogue. ''India is keen to live peacefully with all its neighbours and this fact is known to the rest of the world with the result that Pakistan is totally isolated,'' he added. ''The intelligence inputs we receive from both sides of the border clearly indicate that people are in favour of total peace in the region,'' Mr Advani said.


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