July 2002 News

Hurriyat doves under Pak threat: Farooq

18 July 2002
The Statesman

Jammu: Pakistan may try to kill moderates in the Hurriyat for holding talks with the Centre and their willingness to contest the Assembly polls, Dr Farooq Abdullah said today. Abdul Ghani Lone, he said, was killed for the same reason. Except the hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani, all Hurriyat leaders are talking to the Centre, the chief minister told the Assembly. This is the first time that Dr Abdullah admitted that Centre-Hurriyat talks are on. The government, he said, had Intelligence reports that the leaders engaged in talks could be killed. “The conspiracy to kill Lone was hatched by Islamabad. They ordered their agents to kill the leader to derail the peace process. It was also a message to other leaders to stay away from the talks.” He denied that security lapse was responsible for Lone’s killing. He claimed that Hurriyat leaders’ security was more tight than the legislators’. “Still Lone fell to the bullets of Pakistani agents. I couldn’t stop it.” The chief minister indicated that Lone’s family members may be questioned. “The statements of Lone’s son, Sajjad, has made the interrogation necessary. It should have been done earlier.” Sajjad had blamed the ISI for the killing, but later withdrew the statement.


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