Farooq does not rule out HM''s role in State politics
7 August 2000
The Indian Express
New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah today did not rule out a role for Hizbul Mujahideen in the State''s political framework,reports PTI. ''Why not. We have a number of militants from Pakistan who gave up struggle and joined the mainstream and a number of them in the legislature'', he said when asked if he saw a possibility of political space for the militant outfit which is now engaged in discussions with the Centre. However, Abdullah ruled out tripartite talks involving Pakistan. No government was going to accept to a dialogue with Pakistan so long as it was aiding and abetting militancy in the valley. ''Government of India is not going to talk to Pakistan unless cross border terrorism is stopped. Once the cross border terrorism is stopped, they will talk to Pakistan. We would like to settle all the issue the Pakistan,'' he told ''Star News'' programme. To a question whether his autonomy demand has been sidelined with Hizbul issue taking centre-stage, the Chief Minister said that the autonomy issue was still alive. ''We are still talking of autonomy.'' While for Hizbul it was a ''different game plan'', the National Conference was emphasising that the autonomy should be examined within the Indian Constitution. He said the autonomy issue formed part of NC''s electoral plank in 1996.