Qazi admits taking services of surrendered militants in polls
5 October 2003
The Daily Excelsior
Daily Excelsior Correspondent
Jammu: Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control Qazi Mohammad Afzal has admitted that the services of surrendered militants were procured by him during canvassing in last assembly polls. While interacting with media persons, Mr Afzal said that former militants had joined the national mainstream and their participation and canvassing in elections was just like any other citizen. He admitted that it was with his great persuasion that militants who had given up the gun took part in the electioneering as they were assured for their treatment as citizens of civilized society. Refuting the allegation of his links with the militants, the Minister said that the police including the central agencies know better as to who played a constructive role for the nation while bringing misguided youth in national mainstream. While reacting to the question regarding his fate if Dr Farooq Abdullah would have contested against him in Ganderbal constituency, Mr Afzal said that if that would have been the situation then the former chief minister would have even lost his security deposit. It was only because of some gentleness of Omar Abdullah that he succeeded in getting 4000 votes. He said basically people wanted to do away with dynasty rule of the family and they saw a ray of hope besides rare opportunity in this election. He lauded the role of Prime Minister Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee and other concerned in ensuring historic free and fair polls in Jammu and Kashmir. Regarding the healing touch policy of the Government, Mr Afzal reiterated that basic philosophy of this policy is redressing the genuine grievances of the people and healing the wounds of the sufferers. He said it is not only disbursement of cash relief and jobs. He also clarified the misconception that only militants are being benefited under this policy and assured that healing touch policy of the coalition Government would soon start yielding positive results on permanent basis. He also urged the Prime Minister to continue with his peace mission with Pakistan and stressed that the issue has to be resolved through dialogue. Responding to the query regarding the charges of corruption leveled against him by some vested interests, the minister made it clear that such allegation are politically motivated and raised by miscreants who have already been rejected by the public.