Farooq: Suicide attacks exported from W. Asia
4 November 2001
The Asian Age
Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah on Sunday described fidayeen attacks at security forces’ camps and other important installations as “a very serious development” in the 12-year-old insurgency in the state. He said such acts were earlier carried out in West Asia and had recently been “exported” to the United States. In an interview with Doordarshan here, Dr Abdullah said everybody knew where the roots of militancy in J&K lay. He alleged that “after failing in all its designs, including wars to wrest Kashmir, Pakistan turned to proxy war and terrorism.” Dr Abdullah charged that militants from different countries were being indoctrinated, trained, armed and pushed into the state to spread terror. The Jammu and Kashmir chief minister also asked Pakistan to desist from violence and confrontation. According to an official handout, he also said India would never part with Kashmir. The chief minister said peace and amity were in the best interests of both countries and for the development of the region as a whole. He reiterated that the Line of Control should be converted into an international border with autonomy to both sides and an assurance for free movement of people and trade between India and Pakistan. Asked about his call for attacks on alleged militant training camps across the LoC, Dr Abdullah said he knew that Pakistan would not stop terrorism, so it was necessary to uproot it from that place. The chief minister said dialogue was the only way to resolve problems but the neighbouring country “does not understand the language of peace and cooperation.” Dr Abdullah said after the war against terror in Afghanistan was over the world must take cognisance of terrorism in Kashmir. Meanwhile, to a question about problems faced by people in the Valley during winter particularly due to shortage of power, Dr Abdullah said he has taken up the matter with the Centre following which the state would now get an additional supply of 300 MW of power. This would mean daily power cuts would now be reduced to five hours only. He said during the fasting month of the holy Ramzan, gas turbines would also be put to use, if required. He said at least one of his ministerial colleagues would remain in the Valley at any given point to address people’s grievances. Dr Abdullah said he would spend most of winter in Srinagar. He termed the building of public opinion in India for restoration of autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir as a major achievement of his government. He said even the most vociferous opponents of the proposal have now realised that there was no escape from considering it. Dr Abdullah said he was satisfied the BJP, known for its anti- autonomy stance, has realised that Article 370, that guarantees special status to the state, can neither be abrogated nor was there any escape from granting autonomy to J&K if people wanted that. According to the chief minister, after initially rejecting the demand for dialogue on the issue, the Centre had now considered it. “The dialogue will continue and Insha Allah we will succeed in our objective,” he said. Dr Abdullah said it made him happy that the intellectuals of the country were increasingly supporting the demand for restoration of autonomy to the state. He said this was possible only when the government successfully put its point of view across before the people of the country. Talking about “misconceptions” within and outside the state on the issue, Dr Abdullah said some quarters in Jammu and Ladakh felt that autonomy was meant only for the Muslims of Kashmir. Likewise, he said, some opponents of the demand said after restoration of autonomy, a visa system for entry into the state would come into force. The chief minister promised both these apprehensions were misplaced, and said autonomy was meant for all of Jammu and Kashmir and its people and there was no question of imposing visa regime for entry into the state.