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Farooq clarifies on Mandela mediation statement

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | July 06, 2003 04:27 IST

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Dr Farooq Abdullah has clarified that there is no question of accepting third party mediation on Kashmir, but if it came to that, his choice of mediator would be Nelson Mandela.

"I was participating in a programme by Karan Thapar wherein they asked me who is the best person to mediate. I told them that there is no question of accepting mediation, but if you talk about facilitation, then I would have (former South African president) Nelson Mandela because he has no axe to grind," he told rediff.com.

He defended National Conference president Omar Abdullah's statement that Kashmir is the core issue between India and Pakistan saying, "Isn't Kashmir the core issue between India and Pakistan?"

He said there was no improvement in the ground situation he was replaced as chief minister.

"Only yesterday (on Friday), there was a suicide attack on a minister. At the same time, we have (Jamaat-e-Islami and Hurriyat leader) Syed Ali Shah Geelani spewing venom against India," he said.

Abdullah said there was nothing surprising about reports that the US administration has been tacitly supporting the subversive activities of Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence in Kashmir.

"The United States needs Pakistan's support to carry out its battle in Afghanistan and the Al Qaeda terrorist network," he explained.

More reports from Jammu and Kashmir

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