July 2001 News

No autonomy for J&K, reiterates Advani

25 July 2001
The Pioneer

New Delhi: Home Minister L K Advani told the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday that unabated violence in the Kashmir valley is ''naked terrorism.'' The Home Minister''s statement comes in the wake of Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf''s contentions that what ever was happening in the Valley is an indigenous ''freedom struggle.'' Members reacted strongly to violence in Kashmir. Mr Ramkrishna Hegde of Janata Dal (United) asked, ''What role infiltrators are playing in a ''freedom struggle''?'' The Home Minister appraised the members about his discussion with the visiting Pakistan President on the issue of cross- border terrorism and extradition treaty with that country. Gen Musharraf told Mr Advani that Pakistan has no hand in violence in the Valley and the Bombay blast accused Dawood Ibrahim was not in Karachi. On the issue of Kashmir Autonomy Resolution, Mr Advani said the government has already made it clear that reverting to pre-1953 position for Kashmir, as suggested in the resolution, has not been acceptable to either the Parliament or the present Government. ''If we are to accept it (the Autonomy resolution), it will mean President, Prime Minister, Supreme Court, Election Commission and Comptroller and Auditor General of India will have no authority in Kashmir,'' he said. This, he said, will also deprive Kashmiris of many rights that they now enjoy. However, the Government will consider any proposal by Kashmir Chief Minister for more powers to the State that will help public welfare. He added that the manifesto of the NDA favours devolution of power to States. Members wanted to know why the Government agreed to talk to Gen Musharraf when it was earlier against talks until Pakistan stops cross-border terrorism. To which Mr Advani said that after the Kargil war, the Government had decided not to talk to Pakistan under any circumstances till it give up its policy of cross-border terrorism. It was only after President Musharraf expressed his willingness to talk that he was invited to New Delhi, he said.


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