March 2002 News

US should make stand on terrorism clear: Abdullah

7 March 2002
The Times of India

JAMMU: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah has said the United States and its allies must make their stand on terrorism clear and asked Washington not to adopt double standards on the issue.There cannot be different yardsticks on terrorism which has engulfed almost all countries in the world, he said on Thursday evening.Addressing the 4th Amar Kapoor Memorial lecture on ''Afghanistan to Kashmir'' here, Abdullah said, ''We as a country have been trying to project our case for the last several decades but the big powers like the United States and other European countries never bothered to hear us and understand the dangerous consequences of it.''It was only the September 11 incident which made all the big powers to come out of deep slumber and understand the gravity of the situation.'' Accusing the US of not being sincere in the Palestinian issue, he said it would have been solved long ago if Washington was interested to end the strife.It is also not difficult for America to impose restrictions on Pakistan in order to contain terrorism in this region, Abdullah added.Terrorist training camps are still operating on the Pakistani soil though they have changed their locations recently after the US attack on Afghanistan, the chief minister said. On terrorism being linked with Islam, Abdullah said only Muslims are not terrorists or supporters of the scourge. There have been several extremists groups among other religions which are propagating terrorism.Commenting on militancy in Kashmir, he said it can be contained if Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf is fair and true to his announcements made recently. But Musharraf''s credentials are doubtful as he has failed to check cross-border terrorism.Abdullah said that it was essential to develop the country''s economy to counter terrorism and cited the case of the US as an example.At this crucial juncture when the nation is confronting communalism, Abdullah said it is the need of the hour to respect religion of each community and live in peace.Nagaland Governor and former Intelligence Bureau chief Shyamal Dutta in his keynote address said militancy can never be eliminated, it can only be contained. He referred to certain examples in countries like Afghanistan, Palestine and also in the country''s north-east.Dutta said militancy in Kashmir had its roots in Afghanistan and referred to activities of the militant organisations, operating both in Kashmir and Afghanistan.


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