Assembly Election After Sept: Azad

1 June 2008
The Daily Excelsior

New Delhi: The assembly election in Jammu and Kashmir will be held after September, Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said today. 'Election will be held anytime after September,'Azad said on the sidelines of a conference here. The term of the 87-member Jammu and Kashmir Assembly ends in mid-November. This is the only state in the country which has a six-year tenure. Asked about the possibility of continuing Congressí alliance with PDP in the polls, Azad said it was too early to say anything on it. 'Let us see...It is too early to say...' he said. Despite bickerings between themselves, the Congress and PDP have been running the government since 2002. As a rotational arrangement, in the first three years, PDPís Mufti Mohammad Sayeed ruled the state as Chief Minister while Azad took charge of the office in 2005. Earlier, addressing the international conference on terrorism, Azad, without naming Pakistan, said there are some countries which sponsor violence to bleed another nation and this tendency needs to be checked through innovative strategy. 'There are countries which support and sponsor terrorism and believe that they can bleed another country through a thousand terrorist cuts,' Azad said. He said terrorism brings glamour, power, prestige and access to wealth and women. 'This is exploited by mentors who lure youths to become terrorists.' Talking of steps taken by his government to check incidents of human rights violation, Azad said several policemen, including a Senior Superintendent of Police level officer, have been booked for their alleged role in custodial deaths of prisoners. 'During the last two years, there has been no incident of custodial death in Jammu and Kashmir,' he said, adding, there were more cases of violation of human rights by terrorists than by security personnel. Azad said the most effective way of ensuring that terrorists were not able to exploit the sentiments of any section was by ensuring good and just and, above all, participatory governance. 'The strategy against terrorism requires under-cutting the social base of terrorists by driving a wedge betwen them and their potential sympathizers,' he said. Azad said terrorists could be successfully destroyed only if public opinion, both at home and abroad, supported the authorities in regarding them as ruthless killers and criminals rather than heroes. 'We must promote reconciliation and dialogue to resolve the tensions upon which terrorists feed. It is a matter of immense satisafaction that the Governments of India and Jammu and Kashmir have pulled-out all stops in tackling terrorism through political and economic measures, including rehabilitation and reconconciliation,' he said. Observing that factors motivating terrorism are to be addressed in a holistic way, Azad said the Government was committed to overcome it using political, diplomatic, humanitarian, economic, law enforcement, electoral reforms and counter-terrorism.