October 1999 News

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Hurriyat adopting a pro-active militant line, says Farooq

1 October 1999
Daily Excelsior

NEW DELHI: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah today accused the Hurriyat Conference of adopting a pro-active militant line and running the show for their masters across the border.

Hurriyat, after failing to woo people with their words, has adopted a pro-active policy and is directing gun-wielding militants to threaten people, Abdullah said.

He told on phone from Srinagar on the eve of last phase of elections that people in many areas ignored the poll boycott call by separatists.

But the threat of militants was still very much prevalent in urban areas where very few people came out to vote, he admitted.

Referring to sudden spurt in militant activity in the Valley, he said Pakistan after its humiliating defeat in Kargil had warned of another such attempt in other sectors of the state.

One should basically understand the topography of the region....Borders are not well defined here and the terrains are treacherous...So infiltration can take place somewhere, Abdullah said.

Also when Army was moved away from borders to Kargil, a vast gap had emerged at the border from where militants infiltrated into the Valley, Abdullah said.

Ridiculing the claims by Hurriyat and other separatist organisations that coercion had taken place in the state during earlier three phases of polls, Abdullah said no force was used to bring out voters and it was evident from the fact that some polling booths recorded minimum polling.

We were only interested in ensuring that whatever voting is there, it should be free, the Chief Minister said.

However, Abdullah denied media reports that he had said in a public meeting that voters will be forced to cast ballot. I only said that if they (secessionists) threaten voters, my administration will provide security.

Regarding opposition charges that his administration had failed on every front in safeguarding the people of the state, Abdullah said opposition has to say something...But they should not forget that I am running the Government under severe financial constraints.

Virtually, one of my hands is tied at the back while I am fighting militancy, developing the state and healing the wounds of people, Abdullah said.

About National Conference’s stand after the results were out in the 13th Lok Sabha, he said it is too early to say anything .... But whosoever comes to power will have our support.

Referring to the security environment now prevailing in the Valley, Abdullah said the Army had again been given control to tackle insurgent activities in the Valley after the end of the Kargil intrusion.

The Chief Minister also said some measures are being taken at the border to plug suspected infiltration routes.

About the reported bunglings in the votes of migrant Kashmiri Pundits, Abdullah said the problem will be looked into but added that his administration had no role to play in it.

This is a mischief played by opposition to malign my Government. I have always kept the migrant community on top of my priorities, he said.

Referring to the allegations made by former Union Minister Saif-ud-Din Soz about the bungling during voting in Baramulla parliamentary constituency, the Chief Minister said he has to say something to save his face...After all by now he (Soz) must have understood that without National Conference his identity is nothing.

Soz had parted company with the National Conference over the issue of voting for the Vajpayee Government in the Lok Sabha.

The Chief Minister cautioned the local press asking them to desist from publishing anti-Indian news in the papers. My Government believes in free press, which they have been enjoying, but any one going anti-national will not be spared. (PTI)


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