|HOME | NEWS | J&K TALKS AND THE CARNAGE | REPORT|
August 9, 2000
Informal talks still on with ultras: Farooq
Onkar Singh and Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah told news-persons on Wednesday that the government's mediators were in touch with some important militant leaders and something would soon come out of the informal talks that are going on at various places in the state.
"The talks have not broken down completely. We are in touch with some of the important militant groups who want to lay down arms and help in restoring peace in Kashmir. But Pakistan does not want that to happen. Its rulers think they can annex Kashmir, but they are mistaken. Kashmir is an integral part of India and Insha Allah, will continue to be so in the future as well," the chief minister said with a sense of authority.
Prior to addressing news-persons, Abdullay witnessed the passing-out of the Border Security Force's 285 new recruits who joined the force after 40 weeks of intense training.
"You know we have been fighting a battle for the last 12 years against the enemies of the Indian Republic. Jammu and Kashmir has been plagued with militancy being supported by Pakistan and its Inter Services Intelligence. You have a delicate job on your hands. While fighting the enemy you have to ensure the safety of the Indian borders," he urged the gathering.
At this interaction with the media, Abdullah blamed Pakistan for sabotaging the peace talks that had been started by the government with the all-Kashmiri Hizbul Mujahideen. "Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had shown courage and determination in initiating peace talks with the Hizbul after the latter's commander Syed Salahudin announced a unilateral ceasefire. We had broken the ice. But there were elements both within and outside who did not want the talks to succeed. Pakistan wanted that it should be included in the talks which was not acceptable to us. So it put pressure on Hizbul to call off the ceasefire," said Dr Abdullah.
"We are ready to talk to Pakistan but it must first stop trans-border terrorism. Prime Minister Vajpayee has made this clear time and again."
Asked if he was miffed at being excluded from the talks, Abdullah said, "This is rubbish. When the prime minister is talking where is the need for Farooq to be part of the negotiations? When my government at the Centre is holding talks I am naturally part of it."
He also rejected the plea that the Government of India was responsible for the peace talks breaking down as it was not prepared to talk outside the framework of the Constitution. "The government had gone out of its way to accommodate the militants. The negotiating team was being headed by none less than the home secretary. What more do you want? If anyone is responsible, it is the government of Pakistan," he asserted.
He claimed too that a number of Hizbul field commanders were unhappy at the ceasefire being called off. "These commanders, I understand, are willing to continue the negotiations. The talks have not ended but will continue with all those who give up violence and express their willingness to talk."
ASTROLOGY | NEWSLINKS | BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | GIFT SHOP | HOTEL BOOKINGS
AIR/RAIL | WEDDING | ROMANCE | WEATHER | WOMEN | E-CARDS | EDUCATION
HOMEPAGES | FREE MESSENGER | FREE EMAIL | CONTESTS | FEEDBACK