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|July 31, 2000||
Abdullah sceptical about return of peace
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah on Monday expressed scepticism about a return to normalcy in the state even after the proposed talks between the Centre and Hizbul Mujahideen. He wanted the dialogue to be held without pre-conditions.
"Violence is not going to stop since there are many militant outfits whose survival depends on militancy," Abdullah said at a function in Sheeri near Baramullah on Monday.
Without identifying anybody, he said, "there are elements that have converted militancy into their livelihood. These elements will try to sabotage the proposed talks." He said the security forces and local police should be vigilant 'as any complacency would give the enemy an opportunity to create mischief'.
Abdullah was addressing new recruits of the J&K Armed Police after the passing out parade. Terming the ceasefire offer as a 'new phenomenon', he said, "Hizbul Mujahideen for the last several years killed people and wrecked havoc. Only now has it come to its senses," the chief minister said.
He claimed that Pakistan too had realised that it could not 'grab Kashmir by hook or crook'.
Later, speaking to reporters, he expressed hope that other militant outfits would take the cue from the Hizbul. "They too will come, fearing a loss of support among the people. There is going to be a race now."
About his contribution, he said, "I don't expect any kind of role." However, he claimed to know 'everything that is going to happen (in the talks)', but refused to divulge any details.
Asked whether his autonomy issue had been overshadowed by the ceasefire offer, Abdullah said, "The two have nothing in common."
He insisted that he had discussed the autonomy issue with the prime minister during their last meeting in New Delhi, denying Minister of State for Civil Aviation Chaman Lal Gupta's statement to the contrary.
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