Farooq defends army, blames Pak for Sikhs' massacre
23 March 2000
Jammu: Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah today stoutly defended the role of security forces in the insurgency plagued state of Jammu and Kashmir and declared elite forces were in no way linked with Anantnag carnage. This was stated by leader of the House in Legislative Assembly today while taking part in debate over the killing of 35 Sikhs in Kashmir. Regretfully, certain leaders of India were blaming the security forces for the massacre of 35 Sikhs at Chithi Singhpora of district Anantnag. ''However, I can say with full responsibility and confidence that the latter were in no way involved in the carnage''. ''They are saviours and not killers. Army and other para-military forces are always available at the call of nation and many of them have sacrificed their lives for this cause. It is also strange that all the MLAs including that of opposition and ruling party chose to condemn the dastardly act, but refrained from speaking on this important issue'', he further asserted. Going a step ahead, he declared that he would resign from the Chief Ministership if there was even some evidence to vindicate the fact that security forces had even little hand in the killings of these innocents. ''I am proud of the rich traditions of the Indian security forces. Leaders issuing such controversial statements from foreign soil with the basic aim of defaming the forces''. The Chief Minister also admitted that the State Government anticipated a spurt in the level of militancy in view of the visit of US President to India. But, none had expected that the militants could also target the minority Sikh population living in Kashmir valley. Dr Abdullah said due to earlier experiences, it was expected that Pakistan-sponsored militants would try to target the security installations or the members of the Hindu minority, who were still living in Kashmir. Besides, they could also try to conduct political assassination to gather the attention of the international media. ''But, at no point of time the Government had expected that even the members of the Sikh community could also be targeted by the militants, as no such incident had come to our notice since the decade old insurgency'', he admitted. During the years of turmoil, he added that there had been several massacres which rocked the State and everyone knows where are the roots of these killers. ''These forces don’t want an era of peace to be initiated in the State and it is for this reason that we witnessed carnage when the Indian Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee visited Lahore''. This time again, these killers have given a ‘holi gift’ to Mr Bill Clinton by committing the gruesome murder of innocent members of the Sikh community. ''Ironically, after committing such carnage, the militants claim of having done so in the name of ‘jehad’ despite the fact these heinous acts are against the basic tenets of humanity''. Such selective killing are actually being committed by forces working at the behest of Pakistan so that there is a chain reaction in India leading to communal clashes. While describing the Indo-US dialogue a success, he uttered that the outcome of the talks clearly indicated strengthening of ties between the two nations and there were some ominous signals for Pakistan and their mentor — All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC). Without mincing any words, the Clinton administration has stated in clear terms that Pakistan should not violate the sanctity of the Line of Control (LoC). Further, they have added that the issue of United Nations (UN) resolutions regarding ‘Plebiscite’ in the State of Jammu and Kashmir was also no longer relevant. ''It makes quite clear the changing attitude of the sole superpower towards India''. Mr Clinton, who is visiting Pakistan should tell in clear terms to the Army rulers that it is high time they end this blood-bath in this border state and stop killing the innocent, he said. Later giving a similar statement in Legislative Council which also adopted a condolence resolution and condemned the killings of Chithi Singhpora in Anantnag district the Chief Minsiter admitted that it was our mistake that we did not anticipate threat to Sikh minorities in Kashmir on the eve of Clinton’s visit. He said a delegation of the people from fateful village had met him recently along with the local MLA regarding some of their problems but they did not disclose that they were facing a threat from the Pak militants. A delegation of community from Rafiabad led by Mr Rangil Singh had met him and demanded security for the Sikhs living in that area and Government installed army camp in the area. He said had the community members brought this in my notice his Government would have taken all measures of protecting their lives. The CM while strongly condemning Pakistan and its mercenaries for this dastardly act said they have been exposed before the entire world for this inhuman act. The CM said we have been witnessing these carnages for over last ten years now and few years back when we took initiative for return of Kashmiri Pandits to Valley the militants struck in Sangrampoura and eliminated innocent members of minority community. Later they also attacked Wandhama and eliminated 22 members of Kashmiri Pandit community there. The Chief Minister while expressing his deepest sympathy with the Sikh community said it is need of the hour that we should maintain the utmost restraint so that the enemy does not succeed in her vicious designs. Dr Abdullah said Pakistan had aided the Punjab militancy also with the same intention that after succeeding in Punjab it can easily cut off J&K State from rest of the country. He said I had professed it during the Punjab turmoil and made it clear to the Akali leaders during my meeting with them when the militancy was at peak in the state that in case they can not stop this blood shed in Punjab it will worstly affect the Kashmir. I even maintained that Punjab will turn normal but Kashmir will be destroyed and same is happening at present. The CM while eulogizing the role of security forces said they have achieved a remarkable success in eliminating the militants and the killing of Hamid Gadha a dreaded militant who was involved in Wandhama carnage is one of the greatest achievements of the forces. He said we have started combing operations in the Achabal belt after the Telvani carnage but the area has such a topography that militants hide themselves in dense forests in upper reaches which are linked with Doda, Madav Wadwan from one side and Phalgam, Sonamarg from other side. He said Farooq Government can do every thing for the rehabilitation of the militancy victims but it can not return the dear ones to the families which they lost in these carnages. The Chief Minister said that people who have given call for stopping supply to Kashmir valley are in utter shock this time. He said the firm resolve of the people against the militancy and terrorism will really shake the foreign mercenaries now and expressed the hope that situation will improve for better. The Chief Minister said in case Pakistan continues on its present policies it will be perished and isolated from rest of the world like Afghanistan.