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Home > News > PTI

I didn't seek clemency for Afzal: Azad

October 31, 2006 14:53 IST

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Putting to rest reports that he was seeking clemency for Parliament attack convict Mohammad Afzal, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Tuesday said he had never asked the Prime Minister about this but added that he was personally not in favour of death penalty.

Initially reluctant to answer this question, Azad, who was in New Delhi to release a book on Jammu written by ITDC Chairman and Managing Director Pervez Deewan, said: "It is sad to say that no one, neither the politicans nor media, sought any clarification from me on the issue. In Chandigarh, I only briefed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about two issues -- increase of Haj quota for the state and the agitation over Afzal's hanging that was taking place in the Valley."

"After briefing a couple of reporters, I wonder, next day it was projected that sources close to the chief minister said that he (Azad) had sought clemency for Afzal and rest is history," Azad said.

Asked why he chose to remain silent till now, he shot back: "I do not run a 24-hour news channel that I should keep on making comments every now and then. I have a government to run and moreover when the statement attributed to me, rightly or wrongly, puts a lid on the agitation, there is no harm in remaining silent. Silence is golden at times."

However, Azad said he personally did not favour capital punishment. "If one is kept in jail for the rest of his life, he or she will die inch by inch."

Azad also sought to clarify that none, either the regional or mainstream political parties, had demanded that Afzal should be allowed to go scott free. To a question whether there was any difference of opinion between him and the Congress party, Azad said: "Where does the question of difference of opinion arise when even my views have not been sought."

Taking a dig at media, Azad asked: "Did anyone of you make a little bit of extra effort to seek a comment from me. You do whatever suits you for running the day long show."

© Copyright 2006 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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Number of User Comments: 3

Sub: Afzal

Now the great leader had got the benifit of politics he backed out of the clemancy demand. this is the typical Congress Style. If he ...

Posted by rammohan

Sub: ''I didn't seek clemency for Afzal''

So theCM of J&K feels that life sentence is more punishing than death sentence, because the convict 'dies inch by inch'. The only problem is ...

Posted by Rammesh P Garg

Sub: I did'nt seek clemency for Afzal.

It is really surprising that Azad should say this now. I read this very statement of his in Rediff and also reported in details all ...

Posted by civicwatch



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