April 2002 News

Al-Qaeda has established bases in Pir Panjal, Gurez: Parrey

28 April 2002
The Daily Excelsior
Sanjeev Pargal

Jammu: Awami League supremo and pro-Indian militant leader Jamsheed Shirazi alias Kukka Parrey has mooted a joint front of political parties to contest next Assembly elections in the State, due in September this year, to ensure maximum participation of the electorate especially in the Kashmir valley. The Front, to be named on or before May 20 simultaneously in Jammu and Kashmir divisions in the Awami League rallies, would have some ‘very important’ political parties in its fold, Parrey told EXCELSIOR today. He didn’t name the political parties which were expected to join his proposed Front saying ‘it would be premature to name them at this stage when the Front was being given a final touch’. Asked whether Jammu & Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party (JKDFP) president Shabir Shah, who has virtually made up his mind to contest the elections, would be part of the proposed alliance, Parrey said :''let us see what happens on May 20''. He, however, disclosed that the organisations, with whom Awami League was in touch, included the ruling National Conference and All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC) besides the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He said the League’s May 20 rally in Kashmir would be attended by a minimum of one lakh people. ''In the ensuing Assembly elections, the Awami League led multi-party Front would try to win maximum number of Assembly seats in the State to form its Government. The Awami League on its own is in a position to take its tally of Assembly seats to double figure'', Parrey said. Presently, the League has only one MLA (Kukka Parrey) in the Assembly. ''Why not'' was Parrey’s reply to a question that whether he would be Chief Ministerial candidate of the Front. He charged Farooq Abdullah with reducing the Opposition to negligible by making legislators and leaders of other political parties to join the National Conference with ‘various offers’. The militant-turned-politician and MLA from Hajan said he had ‘definite report’ that Al-Qaeda had succeeded in establishing its network in Pir Panjal range in Jammu, Gurez, Kangan and Gulmarg in Kashmir valley. ''They (the Al-Qaeda men) have set up their basis in the mountainous areas during last two months and were now gearing up to strike in a big way'', Parrey said. He added that coming days were ‘very crucial’ for the security forces in view of Al Qaeda’s infiltration into the State. He said all Al-Qaeda men were hardcore Afghan terrorists, who slipped from Afghanistan during United States’ attack. Launching a scathing attack on Farooq Abdullah Government, the Awami League supremo said the people of Jammu and Kashmir don’t want autonomy as was being claimed by the ruling National Conference. ''What the people want is construction of roads and bridges in their localities, regular supply of electricity and water, the job opportunities and an end to terrorism'', he said, adding ‘the State Government has badly failed to fulfill these aspirations of the people of all three regions’. ''Instead of redressing genuine grievances of the people, the National Conference Ministers, legislators and other leaders worked to serve their own as well as their relatives’ interests'', he alleged. Saying that he wants the Hurriyat Conference to take part in the elections, Parrey said he was optimistic that atleast second line of separatist amalgam would jump into the electoral fray if their frontline leaders refrained from contesting the polls. Explaining Awami League’s stand on Kashmir problem, he said while some outfits were favouring Kashmir’s accession with Pakistan and others were calling for an independent Kashmir, ‘our organisation clearly stands for Kashmir’s accession with India’. ''Kashmir is ‘taj of India’ and will always remain so'', he declared. The only issue which is to be resolved is the liberation of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) to which the Awami League is committed, he said, adding ‘there can be no peace in Jammu and Kashmir till PoK is liberated from Pakistan and merged with J&K’. Describing his brother’s recent arrest by Kashmir Police as ‘politically motivated’ and ‘instigated by the State Government’, Parrey said he didn’t beg for release of his brother but the Government had to release him on its own. He lauded the role of counter-insurgents saying they have made a lot of sacrifices to pave way for return of democracy in the State in 1996. He, however, admitted that there could be some wrong elements in Ikhwan, STF and police but added that generally all these forces were working for restoration of peace in the troubled Valley.


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