US Leader’s Extended Stay In JK Led To Abdullah’s Arrest Sheikh Ahmed28 January 2011
New Delhi: National Conference president and union minister Farooq Abdullah has disclosed that delay in departure of American Democratic Party leader Adlai Stevenson for Delhi from Kashmir in 1953 was seen as a conspiracy and led to arrest and dismissal of then J&K prime minister Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah. “Delay in departure of Stevenson for Delhi after holding a meeting with J&K Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah in Kashmir in 1953 was seen as a conspiracy by Abdullah's detectors. It led to his arrest and dismissal on August 9, 1953,” Farooq said at a function organised to release Nehru's Kashmir Book of late Sati Sahani, who was Director General of Information of the State Government. Giving detailed account of 1953 events, Farooq said, “It was Nehru, who suggested Sheikh Abdullah to host Stevenson, who had lost election to Republican Dwright Eisenhower in 1952. He arrived in the Valley in May, 1953 along with the then US Ambassador Henedrson. Sheikh invited them for dinner on May 3, 1953 and accompanied them to various places. Next day, Stevenson was to leave for Delhi but due to bad weather conditions in the Pirpanjal Rrange, the Dakota flight could not take off and got delayed”. He said when Sheikh Abdullah was informed about delay in his departure, he invited the US leader for a cup of tea. “Immediately rumours spread that Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir was hatching conspiracy with US leader and it unfortunately led to his dismissal and arrest in August same year,” the former J&K chief minister said. Claiming that Nehru and Sheikh enjoyed excellent relations even after this ‘sad’ event, Farooq said, “It was an emotional reunion when Sheikh Abdullah met Prime Minister Nehru at his Teen Murti House in 1963.The two leaders could not control their tears. Nehru took pains to ensure comfortable stay of Sheikh Abdullah in New Delhi”. Referring to political situation, he expressed optimism that situation in the State may improve. “If Berlin wall can collapse and Soviet Union disintegrate, there is no reason why India and Pakistan can’t be friends and resolve their outstanding issues,” he said. Former Sadr-e-Riyasat Dr Karan Singh, who was also present on the occasion, expressed dejection over the state of affairs in Jammu and Kashmir. He said Lal Chowk, which was symbol of friendship between Kashmir and Government of India, has now been turned into a battle ground for political rivalry.