April 2002 News

Govt lacks guts to fight Pak: Farooq

1 April 2002
The Hindustan Times

Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah charged the BJP with lacking the guts to go in for a war with Pakistan. Speaking in the Legislative Assembly, Abdullah took on the BJP, whose members had attacked the state government for its failure to provide security to shrines and to people of the state. An angry Chief Minister got up from his seat and said: ''If it (Centre) lacked the guts to strike, why did it position army on borders?'' The BJP had moved an adjournment motion in the House to discuss the situation in the state, with special reference to the attack on the Raghunath Temple on Saturday. BJP members were angry when the Speaker rejected their motion and were also dissatisfied with Abdullah''s statement on the incident. They staged a noisy walk out. Pointing towards the empty BJP benches, the Chief Minister said: ''You have positioned forces on the borders but lack the guts to go in for a war.'' Abdullah said that he had often wondered why the government was quiet when Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf threw challenges at India. ''What is our response to this, merely saying that we won''t fire the first shot of war? If you have the courage, charge like the Israelis…,'' he said. He said he was particularly saddened by the fact that ''my people were getting killed every day because the forces have moved out of the counter insurgency grid to the borders''. ''When army is guarding the borders, how do these terrorists find their way into Jammu and Kashmir. Am I responsible for that?'' he asked. Abdullah promised extra vigil around the shrines and also cautioned the people of the state against what he said were Pakistan''s attempts to escalate violence in Jammu and Kashmir in the run up to the Assembly elections in the state. He said that Pakistan''s designs were clear and that was to set off communal riots in Jammu and Kashmir by striking at places of worship. Jammu bandh Six persons were injured when the police cane- charged people in Jammu, where a bandh was observed for the second day on Monday. The bandh was called by the Bajrang Dal, VHP to protest against the militant attack on the Raghunath temple. HTC, Jammu


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