February 2001 News

Farooq - Valley's no-1 villain: Mufti

16 February 2001
The Indian Express

New Delhi: Former Home Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed today accused the Farooq Abdullah government and some hardliners at the Centre of making desperate attempts to 'Derail the peace process' in Jammu and Kashmir and urged the Union government to move ahead to start a dialogue with the Hurriyat Conference and other groups. The Mufti, who heads Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), alleged that the state government was playing a role of villian in the peace process to meet its 'selfish ends'. While the Army had virtually stopped search operation, crack downs and raids, the state government agencies were indulging in custodial deaths and victimisation of the innocent people, he charged while addressing a press conference here. Mr Sayeed called upon Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee not to succumb to pressures of hawks to 'Abandon the ceasefire', stating that extension of the unilateral non-combative operations was necessary to make further moves towards the peace process. 'No attempt should be made to derail the peace process, which has raised the hopes of the commonman in finding peaceful and amicable solution to the Kashmir problem,' he added. However, the ceasefire should be backed by a dialogue and other confidence building measures (CBM) by the Centre, he suggested.


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