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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 succeed if 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 Prime Minister [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 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 has taken 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.
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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Read about: Indo-Pak Peace Talk | Coup in Pakistan