Pak terror tactics defaming Muslims: Abdullah
18 February 2002
The Times of India
JAMMU: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah on Monday lambasted Pakistan for defaming Muslims around the globe by perpetrating terror and projecting Islam in a very bad light.''The Islamic card being played by Pakistan is aimed at creating a wedge between various sections in India,'' he said while cautioning against the sinister Pakistani design of killing Hindus and Sikhs in the state for flaring up communal passions.Abdullah, who was addressing election rallies at Suchetgarh, R S Pura and Satwari in Jammu on Sunday, said a large number of civilians in the state, mostly Muslims, have become a fodder for Pakistani cannons and wondered how Islamabad is claiming to be a champion of Muslims and perpetrating violence in the name of jehad. He charged Pakistan for misleading the public on the plight of Muslims in India, saying Islam is not in danger in the country that has a sizeable Muslim population who freely profess and practice their religion. Asking propagandists and vested interests to shun their mindset regarding raising suspicion about Muslims, the National Conference president said despite their sacrifices for unity and integrity of the country, they were still being doubted. Abdullah regretted that the National Conference party was characterised by some as having a tilt towards Pakistan and referred to a campaign launched by vested interests on Autonomy and Resettlement Act.Allaying apprehensions on this score, he said the demand for restoration of autonomy does not mean secession.The National Conference always stood for strengthening the state''s ties with rest of the country, he added.He questioned the arguments being presented on resettlement act and said anybody coming to India and seeking its citizenship have to seek the permission from the Centre. Such issues are being raised only at the time of elections, he said.Referring to border build up, the chief minister referred to the repeated Pakistani misadventures and said Pakistan cannot sustain positioning of forces on the borders for lack of resources. He said India does not want war but is prepared for any eventuality. ''In case of any challenge to the nation we will be on the forefront in defence of the nation,'' Abdullah said.He said the people of Jammu and Kashmir have been sipping the cup of poison in the shape of Pakistan''s proxy war for long and there has to be an end to all this. ''Terrorism will die,'' he said while expressing optimism and called for a united fight along with the Army and security forces against this menace.