|Monday, April 24, 2000,
build-up for APHC-Centre talks
jawans hurt in grenade attack
Kant visits Vaishno Devi
forest policy for J & K soon
for Nature honours three
No build-up for APHC-Centre
JAMMU, April 23 Following the decision of the government to release all political detainees, most of them in the Jodhpur jail, there hardly seems any prospects for a dialogue between the separatists and the Centre as far as the current Kashmir turmoil is concerned.
In fact an impression had gone round that three top Hurriyat leaders, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Prof. Abdul Gani Bhat and Molvi Abbas Ansari, had been released after they had agreed to hold talks with the Centre. Even after three weeks of their release the Hurriyat leaders are a confused lot. They have been wavering as far as their interest in holding negotiations with the Centre are concerned.
The situation was the same when these Hurriyat leaders were released in 1995. In Jammu, they had given a broad hint about their willingness to hold a dialogue with the government. But once they landed in Kashmir they felt they were not so safe and a dialogue with the Centre could make them more vulnerable to militant attacks.
Inside reports said the Hurriyat leaders, including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, had conveyed to their close associates that they were not in a position to open a dialogue with the Centre because that would endanger their lives. Since the senior Central leaders, including the Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, had stated that they were willing to hold talks, the Hurriyat leaders felt embarrassed. They told their supporters in private that the Centre had placed them in a dilemma.
After their return to Srinagar from the Jodhpur jail the Hurriyat leaders were told in clear terms that the strings of ongoing armed campaign were in the hands of foreign mercenaries. Whatever would happen in the state was being guided through remote control across the border. Hence there is a feeling that a stage has come when the Hurriyat Conference leaders were not as relevant as they were between 1993 and 1995.
Agencies across the border want Delhi to resume talks with Islamabad and as such Pakistan would not be interested in seeing talks between the Centre and the Hurriyat leaders take off at any stage.
Political observers are of the opinion that if parleys between the Centre and Hurriyat leaders succeed even to some extent it would be as much beneficial for India as the 1973-75 parleys between the erstwhile Plebiscite Front, headed by Sheikh Abdullah, and the Centre proved. When Sheikh Abdullah agreed to rejoin the national mainstream and took reins of power after 22 years it was a major setback for Pakistan because the plebiscite movement died the day the Sheikh returned to power.
At present the Hurriyat Conference is viewed as a political face of Pak-sponsored proxy war. Once the Hurriyat Conference decides to talk to the Centre anti-India political platform in Kashmir may collapse. Hence Islamabad would not allow the Hurriyat leaders to enter into negotiations with Delhi.
Opponents of the Chief
Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, including Mufti Mohd.
Sayeed, PDP chief, and Mr G.M. Shah, a former Chief
Minister, have been campaigning in favour of
Hurriyat-Delhi talks. The Mufti is also supporting the
idea of holding talks with militants too.
3 jawans hurt in grenade attack
SRINAGAR, April 23 (PTI) Four persons, including three army jawans, were injured in a militant attack and three militants arrested in Jammu and Kashmir since last evening, an official spokesman said here today.
Three army jawans were injured when militants hurled a grenade on their vehicle at a bus stand in Kishtwar in Doda district today. They were hospitalised, the spokesman said.
Militants attacked a police post at Sunder-Dachin in Doda district last night. The policemen returned the fire but there was no loss of life, he said.
Militants also shot at and critically wounded son of a revenue official, Manzoor Ahmad Sheikh, at Jogipora-Kulgam in Anantnag district last night and set ablaze a panchayat ghar at Ranipora in the town.
Meanwhile, two militants of Tahreek-e-Jehadi Islami outfit were nabbed from Wanganpora-Eidgah in Srinagar yesterday. Two rifle grenades, a remote control and some ammunition rounds were recovered from them.
Another militant was
arrested from Manzmohalla- Inderkot in Baramulla
district, he said, adding a grenade thrower, three rifle
grenades, a hand grenade and an IED fitted in a pressure
cooker were recovered from an encounter scene at Inderkot
-Sumbal where eight policemen were injured on Friday
Krishan Kant visits Vaishno Devi
JAMMU, April 23 Vice-President, Krishan Kant, completed his two-day visit to Jammu today. Before leaving for Delhi he flew to Vaishno Devi along with the Governor, Mr G.C. Saxena.
Mr Krishan Kant spent nearly 20 minutes offering prayers inside the cave. It took him nearly 45 minutes from Sanjichat helipad to walk to the shrine. Pilgrims were charmed by the simplicity of the Vice-President, who accepted soft drinks and a working lunch prepared by the Shrine Board.
During his trek from Sanjichat to the shrine the Governor explained to Mr Kant the salient features to the development work being carried out by the Shrine Board for pilgrims.
The Vice-President unveiled a huge bronze statue of Maharaja Gulab Singh, founder of Jammu and Kashmir state, here yesterday evening. While unveiling the statue Mr Krishan Kant declared Indias resolve to defeat forces challenging its solidarity.
He drew loud cheers when he said that Jammu and Kashmir is the soul of India and the nation is prepared to offer any sacrifice to protect it.
Referring to the current turmoil in Kashmir he said it is a fight between secularism and fundamentalism and a war against terrorism and violence.
The Governor, Mr G.C. Saxena, Dr Karan Singh, member Rajya Sabha and Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, welcomed the Vice-President.
Speaking on the occasion Dr Farooq Abdullah said that any move at fragmentation of the state on regional or religious lines would be dangerous for the country.
He said though Hunza, Gilgit and Muzaffarabad were constitutionally parts of Jammu and Kashmir, he personally felt that the conversion of the LoC into a permanent border could bring a lasting peace to the region.
The Chief Minister said it was for the people to compare the situation in Pakistan occupied Kashmir with that in Jammu and Kashmir. People across the border had been denied basic rights, including the right to vote but in Jammu and Kashmir people enjoyed all rights.
Describing the state as
a mini-India because of its multi-regional and religious
character Dr Abdullah opposed any move to trifurcate the
state. The state has to survive as a single
entity, he said.
New forest policy for J & K soon
JAMMU, April 23 (PTI) Jammu and Kashmir will soon have a new forest policy, state Minister for Forest Peerzada Ghulam Ahmed Shah has said.
Regretting the shrinking of forest cover due to human greed, the Minister in his address on Earth Day-2000 here yesterday said the new forest policy would emphasise on afforestation and removal of encroachments.
Special thrust would be laid on planting saplings over the waste land, he said, and urged the people to take a pledge to plant at least one tree each every year.
Forests play pivotal role in maintaining ecology and therefore this vital resource should not be treated as a revenue generating medium, the Minister said.
WWF for Nature honours three
JAMMU, April 23 The World Wide Fund for Nature India, Jammu and Kashmir chapter, has honoured three renowned personalities of the state for their distinguished services in various fields of bio-diversity.
They include Mr K.B. Jandial Director of Information (ex-Administrator Jammu municipality),Mr R.K. Gandotra Chief Conservator of Forests (retired) and Mr Ayjaz Ahmed Malik, Member, Environmental Tribunal of India.
The awards were presented at the Earth Day-2000 function organised by the state committee of World Wide Fund for Nature India at Jammu Club here last evening.
Mr Jandial has been honoured with the Clean Man of the Year Award for his dedicated efforts in improving civic amenities in Jammu during his tenure as Administrator, Jammu municipality. Mr Jandial achieved unprecedented results in streamlining the functioning of the municipality and introducing a number of innovative schemes for keeping the city neat and clean, like night scavenging, removal of encroachments, campaign against use of polythene bags, improving the revenue of municipality and door to door collection of garbage. The Industries Minister, Dr Mustafa Kamaal presented the award to Mr Jandial.
Mr Raj Gandotra was honoured with the award of Green man of the Decade for his outstanding service towards afforestation and plantation of more trees on waste land and vacant patches of the city. Mr Peerzada Ghulam Ahmed Shah, Forest Minister, presented the award to Mr Gandotra.
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