'Gen Singh's remark opens can of worms'

  • Toufiq Rashid, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Sep 24, 2013 20:55 IST

After the National Conference (NC) crying foul, moderate separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has reacted to former army chief Gen VK Singh's remarks on paying money to political leaders in the Valley.

Mirwaiz said Gen Singh's revelation had opened a can of worms. The Technical Support Division (TSD), a special unit in the army set up by Singh, had allegedly tried to topple the Jammu and Kashmir government by paying bribe to people.

Gen Singh's statement that 'paying ministers was nothing new in Jammu and Kashmir. It has been happening since 1947' has undermined the legitimacy of successive so-called 'representative governments' in the state since 1947, he said.

"It is now clear that whosoever is installed by Delhi to rule the state, starting from Sheikh Abdullah to the present day, has to be hand in glove with the army establishment. In fact, it has to follow their diktat, and further their objective and agenda," Mirwaiz said.

"The irony is that those who make hue and cry about the revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from the state collaborate in the continuance of the law. Their doublespeak has been exposed and their true colours seen," he said.

Gen Singh (retd) has said the "army transfers money to all the ministers in Jammu and Kashmir.... because there are various things to be done and ministers have to do many things as part of the stabilising factor in the state and for organising various activities".

Questioned whether or not all ministers were paid, he amended his statement, saying, "Maybe not all ministers but certain ministers, and people who are given a certain sum to get a particular thing done. That job involves bringing stability to a particular area."


Earlier in the day, NC patron Farooq Abdullah asked for a CBI inquiry into the case. "I think it's a very terrible statement that he has made. It must be investigated. The army has nothing to do with funding of political parties. They should never do this. The army should be kept apolitical," the union minister said here, adding, "if he (Singh) has done that, he has done something extremely wrong".

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