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Home > News > Report

Hawks will fall in line: Abdullah

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | May 08, 2003 14:24 IST

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah,on Thursday said there is tremendous international pressure on both India and Pakistan to sort out their differences through negotiations.

In an exclusive interview to rediff.com, Dr Abdullah said that the hawks on both sides have no choice but to fall in line and let the peace talks proceed.

"What will the hawks on both sides do when the two countries disappear from the world map. The hawks will disappear as well," he said when asked if the hardliners would let a summit meeting between India and Pakistan succeedif an when it takes place.

He welcomed the steps announced by Pakistani Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali to normalise relations with India, but termed them inadequate.

"Jamali has responded to the peace initiative made by PrimeMinister [Atal Bihari] Vajpayee. But what would the restoration of rail, road and airlinks do when cross-border terrorism continues and innocents continue to get killed in Kashmir?" he asked.

Asked if a third party would be of help in resolving the Indo-Pak dispute, Abdullah said whether one likes or notthird-party intervention [on Kashmir] is already happening. "Whatever is going on right now virtuallyamounts to accepting mediation. Though it may not be visible and we may not say so," he said.

Asked why there always is a parallel initiative whenever the Governmentof India appoints someone to talk to the political parties in Jammu and Kashmir, Abdullah said: "This is not true. Our effort to send a delegation of parliamentarians to Pakistan is going to supplement the government efforts. [The] prime minister has appointed N N Vohra to hold talks with the people and political parties of Jammu and Kashmir.

"He has had good discussions in Srinagar after prime minister's visit to Kashmir. He would be going to Jammu, Leh and Kargil shortly. We want to send a delegation of parliamentarians to Pakistan so that we go and talk to our counterparts in Pakistan and listen to them. We will come back and tell our 100 crore people what they have to say."

He hoped that a delegation of Pakistani parliamentarians which arrived in Delhi on Thursday would also hold meaningful talks with Indian parliamentarians.

Asked if he would lead the Indian delegation to Pakistan, Dr Abdullah said that he did not know whether he would even be a part of the delegation.

"We are forming an Indo-Pakistan parliamentarian forum. Once it hastaken formal shape, it would be the forum which will decide who would go to Pakistan. We would be going there with an open mind and we would be listening to them. It is only after listening to them that we would put our point of view before them. I feel this would bring about some understanding of this complex problem of Jammu and Kashmir.

"Time has come when parliamentarians and politicians should listen to the other side and convey the same to the people of India. Maybe a small window would grow into a larger window and a larger home later on," he said.

On US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage's visit to Pakistan and India, Abdullah said he did not know what would be the outcome of the visit.

"The initiatives are going on at many levels. [The] prime minister's security advisor, Brajesh Misra, has gone to the USA and on his way he met Richard Armitage in the UK. Next week our Foreign Minister Yashwant Sinha is going to Moscow and meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin. He would also hold talks with US Secretary of State Colin Powell. After the Iraq war the world scene has changed tremendously as Prime Minister Vajpayee said in Kashmir," Abdullah said.

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Number of User Comments: 4




Sub: Indo-Pak Relations

Enmity with India has been used as a perpetual reason for justifying the nefarious plans of Pakistan Govt & it's agencies. Good relations with India ...


Posted by Manish





Sub: Hawks will fall in Line

Unfortunately when politicians not in power,they used to preach Peace , Development etc.. One of them is Mr.Abdullah. Indeed his family was in power for ...


Posted by Ashok M Srinivasan





Sub: Kashmir

The politicians in India think that ordinary people are fools.Nehru should not have gone to UN in 1947 when India was in the process of ...


Posted by sushil





Sub: message

The problem with INDIA & PAKISTAN relationship is that both have HEAVY interlinked vested interest to keep the high level of acrimoni amongst themselves; just ...


Posted by acharya




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