List Of Passengers Leaked From Across Border: Mufti
1 April 2005
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: Assuring foolproof security to the passengers, who will travel in Uri-Muzaffarabad bus, Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed today warned that some forces were hell bent to disrupt the on going process of restoring peace in Jammu and Kashmir. The Chief Minister, however, asserted that Government's determination was strong enough to frustrate evil designs of such elements and no force will be allowed to sabotage the peace process- which has been initiated to fulfill urges and aspirations of the people of this State. Giving a statement on the issue raised by the National Conference members regarding threats being given to the passengers of the Uri- Muzaffarabad bus, Mr Sayeed informed the Legislative Assembly that one unknown person from England has threatened a passenger on phone. 'Braving these threats, all the passengers, whose names have been cleared for first journey, are determined to go to Muzaffarabad to meet their family members', he stated. When National Conference (NC) members insisted to know how list of passengers was leaked to the militants, the Chief Minister, without naming, shifted blames on Pakistani authorities for leaking the list to the militants. 'The list was prepared in Urdu so we are of the opinion that it might have been released from across the border', he stated amidst allegation of NC members that it was an intelligence failure. 'When ever we initiated steps towards normalising situation in the State, anti-peace forces accelerated their activities', he stated and pointed towards killings of some prominent politicians as well as eminent personalities of Kashmir during the last 15 years. 'Some forces are desperate to sabotage the peace process', he said but asserted that designs of these elements should be frustrated by the people of the State as there was strong urge among masses to restore peace in this region. 'Our Government is committed to fulfill aspirations of the people', he remarked and added that decision to open Uri-Muzaffarabad road was guided by the wishes and emotions of the people. 'I talked with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh today and informed him that people of the State are emotionally involved in his historical decision to opening the road', the Chief Minister said and noted that the Prime Minister will himself be present during opening of the road. Mr Sayeed informed the House that the Government has handed over a list of 40 passengers to Pakistani authorities and names of only 29-majority of them from Poonch and Rajouri- were cleared from across the border. 'It is responsibility of the Government to provide security to all the 29 passengers who will travel in the bus' the Chief Minister stated and assured the House that authorities will leave no stone unturned to ensure safety of these people. 'While finalising names of passengers, priority has been given to the members of divided families' he stated but hastened to add that 'this bus service will not remain confined to only divided families. Others will also provided opportunity to visit Muzaffarabad and other areas'. He further stated that authorities have decided to give 500 more forms for those persons who want to travel on this road. Earlier the Legislative Assembly witnessed uproar and noisy scenes as NC members raised the issue of threats being given to the passengers. As soon as the House assembled, National Conference member Ali Mohammed Sagar raised the issue. He was joined by other members of the party and all NC members, who were on their toes, came on first row and demanded statement from the Chief Minister. 'Killings of people have been going unabated and Mufti Sayeed has been staging this drama to save his chair', Ali Mohammed Sagar stated. Another NC member Saifullah Mir echoed the same allegations. 'Passengers, who want to travel in this bus, have been facing threats but Mufti Sahib has been celebrating 'Jashan-e-Kashmir', Sagar shouted, adding, 'you are doing politics on the bodies of people. Only yesterday 12 people have been killed in different incidents', Saifullah Mir shouted. When NC members, Dr Mehboob Beg, Ali Mohammed Sagar, Sharief-ud-Din Shariq, Mubarak Gul and Saifullah Mir, were demanding statement of the Chief Minister in the House, the treasury benches also resorted to shouting slogans to counter allegations of the opposition. There was din in the House for quite some time. Both treasury and opposition benches traded were shouting slogans. Amidst the pandemonium, Speaker Tara Chand allowed Ali Mohammed Sagar to speak on this issue and pacified the agitating NC members. When Sagar was speaking, the Chief Minister intervened and expressed his anger of wasting Question Hour. 'What is fun of Question Hour when we have to waste time in creating uproar', he stated, adding, 'this House should be utilised by the members to highlight problems of people'. The Speaker later stated that the Chief Minister will give a statement after Question Hour on this issue.