Farooq fears spurt in terrorist activities
17 September 2001
Our Special Correspondent
NEW DELHI: The Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, is believed to have expressed fears that the situation developing as a result of terrorist attacks on the United States and the contemplated military action against Afghanistan could lead to a spurt in terrorist activities in the State . In separate meetings with the Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, the Union Home Minister, Mr. L.K. Advani, and the Defence Minister, Mr. Jaswant Singh, Dr. Abdullah is believed to have emphasised the need to be prepared for a spurt in militant activities and have a contingency plan ready even as he expressed his determination to face the challenge posed by terrorists, a challenge that India had been facing for the last one decade. He met Mr. Vajpayee for 40 minutes and Mr. Advani for half an hour. During the day, he also visited the American embassy here to sign the condolence book. He wrote: ''In this hour of grief of the American people, let not America be alone. The people of Jammu and Kashmir and indeed the whole world is with them. Let us be united and work together to wipe out terrorism from the face of this earth so that mankind can live in peace.'' Talking to reporters afterwards, Dr. Abdullah suggested that the U.S. move to take Pakistan onboard in the contemplated action against terrorism was only a ''decent way'' to tell Islamabad that it should ''stop militancy or face isolation.'' He asserted that there was no way Kashmir could be ''traded off'' in any bargain that Pakistan may be trying to drive with the United States in return for its ''cooperation'' in the American plan for tracking down Osama bin Laden, the prime suspect in the terror attacks in New York and Washington. He did not think that the U.S. would fall into such a trap and asserted that Pakistan was ''stupid'' if it thought that Kashmir and Kashmiris were ''commodities.'' He said India would not shy away from full contribution to any global action against terrorism even if the new situation meant apprehension of increased terrorist violence in Jammu and Kashmir.