Terrorist camps still operating in PoK: Farooq
27 February 2002
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah today said that despite Pakistani President General Parveez Musharraf’s commitment to wipe out terrorism as per wishes of the international community, terrorist camps were operative in Pakistani occupied Kashmir (PoK). Addressing a big congregation held in observance of the birth anniversary of Guru Ravi Dass Ji here this afternoon, the Chief Minister said that Pakistan General might say anything but the fact remains that infiltration continues to this side from across the border. The ultras are making innocent civilians target of their barbarism, he said while referring to the killing of his party workers for none of their faults. They get killed for being Indians, he said while hoping that the reign of terror unleashed by Pakistan will get focus at the forthcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) by the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajapyee. ''PM must seek appropriate international response against Islamabad’, Dr Abdullah said while asking Pakistan to wind up camps and live in peace with the neighbours. Referring to the miseries brought by the cult of violence, Dr Abdullah said the people have suffered immensely during the past over 12 years. The recent border build up has created a fear of war that has reiterated the influx of pilgrims to the City of Temples. He said that pilgrim tourism is a major source of sustenance for a large chunk of population. He said the people want end to terrorism and yearn for a peaceful life. Paying glowing tributes to Guru Ravi Dass Ji, the Chief Minister said that Guruji never discriminated between human beings on the basis of religion. To him best way of remembering Almighty was to serve the humanity and rid the society from various tensions. He said mistrust and hatred leads to destruction and called upon the people to have tolerance and respect for other religions and cement the bonds of brotherhood as preached by Guruji. This leads to a harmonious society, he added. Responding to the demands projected on the occasion, Dr Abdullah said these would be looked into at appropriate level. He dwelt in details about the demand on setting up of colonies and said that people of all castes and religions should live together, which is quite essential for harmonious society as otherwise the segregation leads to alienation. Earlier a memorandum of demands was presented to the Chief Minister by the Shri Guru Ravi Dass Sabha. It was demanded in the memorandum that adjoining land be handed over to Sabha for extension of the premises. Many other demands were listed in the memorandum. Chief Minister, while reacting to the demands said that he has asked Principal Secretary, Power, Mr B R Kundal to prepare a Bill for reservation. All demands should be inculcated in the Bill, he said and assured that the Bill will be introduced in the current session of the Assembly. Regarding demands of the Shri Guru Ravi Dass Sabha to induct a Scheduled Caste as Cabinet Minister, Dr Abdullah pointed towards MoS Agriculture Mr Ram Paul and asked the gathering to elect him in the forthcoming Assembly election to make a Scheduled Caste Cabinet Minister. Minister of State for Rural Development, Mr Ajay Sadhotra and Minister of State for Agriculture, Mr Ram Paul were also present on the occasion. A large number of people thronged the Guru Ravi Dass Sabha Bhawan since morning to pay their obeisance. Dr Abdullah garlanded the life-size portrait of the Guruji. Reports from Kathua said that birth anniversary of Shri Guru Ravi Dass Ji celebrated with religious fervour and gaiety. A big procession was taken out in this connection. People from all walks of life participated in the procession which passed through the different areas of the town. MLA Kathua, Mr Som Nath, MLA Basoli, Mr Lal Singh and other prominent leaders were among those who attended the function.