Forces may go to barracks if Pak stops aiding terrorists, keeps check on infiltration: Azad
16 January 2007
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has said that security forces engaged in maintaining law and order in Jammu and Kashmir may go to the barracks or even to guard borders if Pakistan stops aiding militants and keeps a check on the infiltration from across the border. While replying the discussion on Governorís address in the Legislative Council here today, the Chief Minister expressed confidence that demilitarization proposal of General Musharraf may be reduction of troops engaged for maintaining internal law and order within the State. He said that there is no harm in discussing his proposal across the table besides other issues. 'We are also in favour that troops should go to the barracks and need not to be deployed for the internal security duty. But this is only possible if Gen Musharraf honours his promise to keep check on infiltration and stops aiding terrorists operating in Jammu and Kashmir and killings of many innocent people,' Mr Azad maintained. ' When you stop indulging in such activities and allow peace to prevail, forces would automatically leave the task of anti-terrorism and anti- militancy activities otherwise, they are required to provide safety and security to the people,' Mr Azad said adding that there was no need to be afraid of any proposal coming from that side or reject any one abruptly. Referring to the proposals of Pakistani president Gen Parvez Musharraf the Chief Minister said, ' Let us discuss any proposal coming from that side and also present our view point with open mind and convince them with our arguments and capacity. Instead of floating proposals via media for mere publicity sake, these could be discussed across the table in right forums.' He said India and Pakistan can discuss such issues in composite dialogue which is scheduled to start from middle of March next year and the proposal putforth by political parties of Jammu and Kashmir could discuss these in the meetings of Working groups related to strengthening Centre-State relations. Mr Azad said three pronged strategy to address all issues related to Jammu and Kashmir, strengthening Indo- Pak friendship and carrying forward dialogue process with separate groups is already in place and both State and Central Governments are positively contributing to carry it on successfully. He said constitution of five Working Groups on Kashmir has proved highly fruitful and their speedy completion of deliberations to come up with recommendations is unprecedented. He said BJP talks of Article 370. Why Party remained silent when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was Prime Minister. Why it slept over the issue ? Now, when it is not in power, BJP leaders started raising this slogan. It shows the double standards of the Party, Azad maintained. Appreciating the efforts of Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee during his visit to Pakistan, Mr Azad said our Foreign Minister had a successful dialogue in Pakistan and many issues lying standstill have been activated to be deliberated upon in near future between the two countries, for which talking schedules have also been finalised. He said this would further strengthen the peace and confidence building measures (CBMs) and friendly relations between the two countries. Commenting on the situation in the State, the Chief Minister said things are improving but for the restoration of complete peace and zero HR violations, there is need of support from all the sections and groups. Every legislator, political party and individuals are stake holders for peace and development as such they are required to understand each others view point and help to come up with concrete and unanimous strategy in this regard which he said Prime Minister has already pervided a platform in the shape of working groups. Referring to the objections of some legislators from the Opposition regarding pre- poning of budget session, Mr Azad said criticism is okay but such things which are in the general interest of the people of the State should be appreciated. He said it was done just to save 2-3 months of working season as no works can be executed in Ladakh and Kashmir regions during winter months of December, January and February. All paper works would be completed during this lean period and works could be taken up from April onwards. This is the most important thing which has been done for the welfare of the people of this State and its affects would be visible in the coming years. Reminding the legislators and political leadership of their role to suggest Government on resources mobilization and enacting laws and suggest amendments, Mr Azad regretted for no such suggestion from any Member in both the Houses. ' I'm very sorry to say not even a single member in the Legislature came out with a suggestion on resources mobilization. Everybody demands enhancement of wages of MLAs- MLCs, RETs, Chowkidars, Anganwari workers and other Govt employees, Medical and other allowances etc. without suggesting workable measures to strengthen the funds to meet such demands. Nobody has answer or suggestion for the same,' he maintained. Expressing Governmentís firm determination to improve HR violation record, Mr Azad said the record of past five-six years shows that HR violations have considerably decreased. He said when peace gets roots, acts of terror and rights of violation graph will itself come to zero. He said while scanning the record of HR violations, one has to keep in mind the militancy and terrorist attacks taking toll of innocent lives. Reiterating the resolve of his Government to keep a check on corruption and improve work culture, the Chief Minister said many people turn angry when a campaign is launched. When we talk of increasing water or electricity tax or put efforts regarding mobilisation of resources, we are termed as anti-people and become wore wicked or unpopular and face opposition from members. He said fiscal condition of the State can never improve till we change out mindset and ideology of seeking Central support always. We will have to think seriously over the resources mobilisation. He also referred to several development works and said that under ADB funding alone, Rs 821 cr on road constructions are being spent and works on many projects have already been started. Works worth Rs 895 cr under NURM schemes have been sanctioned for Jammu and Srinagar cities besides other medium towns. Newly created districts will be made functional from April first this year.