Farooq announces fresh friendship
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah on Friday indicated that his National Conference would join the National Democratic Alliance.
Talking to reporters after inaugurating a web site for the Jammu and Kashmir Bank and commissioning the Anywhere-Banking-Facility, Dr Abdullah said the NDA government, to be headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, is ''our own'' government.
Asked if his son Omar Abdullah, who won the Srinagar seat, will also join the NDA, Dr Abdullah said that is for the prime minister to decide. He was confident that the Vajpayee government would complete its five-year term.
Vajpayee, he continued, was the only 'towering personality' in the country, the only one who could bring peace. Dr Abdullah had a definite feeling that Vajpayee could forge friendship with Pakistan. Good relations with neighbours will result in less defence expenditure, which in turn will help boost the economy and steer the people to progress and prosperity.
The chief minister hoped for reciprocity to India's initiative in normalising relations, and said that terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir will die when India and Pakistan become friends. "Our state has been the worst sufferer for the past 50 years due to the hostility between the two countries," he said.
Dr Abdullah hoped that Vajpayee would address the problems of the people of J&K and help in overcoming the turmoil "we are facing for the past 10 years." The CM vowed to crush militancy in the state with an iron hand.
''We are a part of India and those who dream about reversing the ground reality with the intervention of some foreign powers will not succeed,'' he said.
He said security arrangements would be further beefed up to drive out militants. Due care would be taken that innocents are not harmed in anti-militancy operations.
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