15th October 1997Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah on Monday accused the United Front government of 'not doing enough' to curb terrorism in the state.
The CM, who completed one year in office on October 9, said the Centre
should emphasise more on curbing global terrorism and less about its
seat in the UN Security Council.
"It must work 24 hours against terrorism, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir," he said, "It should tell the world how humanity is suffering here."
He said if the Gujral doctrine of holding talks with Pakistan meant anything, it was time to come out with a good response. "We want to see that response," Dr Abdullah said.
The people of India, particularly those in JK, the CM went on, wanted friendship with Pakistan. The same was true of their Pakistani counterparts. But the Pakistan army and the Inter Service Intelligence were sabotaging harmony as they feared they would lose authority in the national politics.
"The recent firing along the Line of Control and in Kargil are examples. The Pakistan army knew fully well they were not targeting army establishments, but civilians," he said.
Calling upon the 'big powers', particularly the United States, he said if the Americans 'meant business' they would declare Pakistan a terrorism sponsoring state.
Dr Abdullah said nobody could 'pressurise India' into reducing troops at the border. "The army and the paramilitary forces are needed there," he said.
The chief minister said the security forces had been doing a good job in Kashmir and had made it difficult for terrorists to infiltrate into the valley. That was why they had shifted their operations to the Jammu region.
Calling for the withdrawal of the UN's Military Observer Group from the state, he said they were 'shuttling between' India and Pakistan and doing nothing.
'We don't need them now," he said, "I don't know why they are still here."
Evading a direct reply to the question whether he stood by Prime Minister I K Gujral's description of Britain as a 'third rate power,' Dr Abdullah -- whose wife is British -- said Britain and India were good friends. He hoped they would continue to remain so.
About the All Party Hurriyat Conference, he said it was encouraging that there was a shift in their stand. "Earlier, they were not even ready for talks, but now they are saying they want negotiations," he said.
The Jammu and Kashmir police propose to stop using the services of surrendered militants for anti-militancy operations in the valley.
"Their utility is over. Their services are proving somewhat counter-productive now," state Director General of Police Gurbachan Jagat told Rediff On The NeT, "We have decided not to use them anymore."
Till now, the special task force and other security agencies had been relying quite heavily on surrendered militants (or pro-India militants, as they are known) in their campaigns. However, the alleged excesses by these renegades -- many are part of the official force now -- have forced the government to reconsider.
The state government has already absorbed a majority of them into the Border Security Force and Central Reserved Police Force. Besides, nearly 5,000 have been appointed as special police officers.
The DGP claimed the situation in Kashmir was fast returning to normal. However, both infiltration and exfilteration still continued.
"We have reports that nearly 200 youth have gone across for training this year," he said.
Speaking about the army withdrawal from towns, the DGP said Anantnag has been taken over jointly by the Kashmir police and the CRPF. Next month, the troops would start withdrawing from Baramullah.
Withdrawal from Srinagar, Jagat continued, would be in a phased manner. The police-takeover would be complete by May.