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Ex-governor ridicules Musharraf's
claims on J&K
Onkar Singh in New Delhi |
June 15, 2003 20:54 IST
Former Jammu and Kashmir governor Girish Chander Saxena on Sunday rubbished claims by Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf that the Indian army had forced people to cast their votes in the September-October 2002 assembly election in the state.
"I categorically reject the General's claim. Hundreds of correspondents, including from the international media, covered the elections. Not one of them said the army had forced people to vote."
"In fact, the army was reluctant to come anywhere near the polling booth even when required. Maybe, the General is speaking of his own experience with the Pakistani army," Saxena told rediff.com.
He also ridiculed President Musharraf's claim that more then 70,000 people have died in the state in the last ten years.
"I do not know from where he got that figure. As governor of the state, I had authentic statistics with me. More then 13,600 civilians lost their lives in the last fourteen years."
"Of these, 10,000 were killed by terrorists. The rest lost their lives when they got caught in the crossfire between the militants and the security forces," he said.
He lambasted the Pakistani president for not mentioning the figure of the security personnel killed in terrorist violence.
"We have lost 3,600 personnel of the security agencies."
"We have killed more then 16,700 terrorists in various operations, more then seventy per cent of them foreigners," he added.
He gave a detailed list of the arms and ammunition seized during anti-terrorist operations.
"We have captured 25,000 Kalashnikovs, 325 sniper rifles, over 1,000 machine guns, 1,800 rocket propelled grenades, 4,000 rocket launchers, 10,000 mines and 4000 wireless sets."
In addition to this, we have seized over 50,000 hand grenades, thirty tonnes of explosives and 7.5 tonnes of RDX," the former governor said.
He praised the Indian army for launching operation Sarp Vinash to flush out terrorists from Poonch, Rajouri and Surankote sectors of Jammu division.
More reports from Jammu and Kashmir