Farooq denies sabotaging peace efforts

Published on May 02, 2004 10:03 PM IST

Former chief minister Farooq Abdullah said the present incumbent Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was resorting to "half-truths and absolute lies" in a desperate bid to save his "sinking ship".

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PTI | ByPress Trust of India, Srinagar

Dismissing allegations of having sabotaged peace efforts in Jammu and Kashmir while in power, former chief minister Farooq Abdullah on Sunday said the present incumbent Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was resorting to "half-truths and absolute lies" in a desperate bid to save his "sinking ship".

"National conference has always maintained that negotiations are the only way to solve the Kashmir problem. It was in this spirit that in 1997 on the floor of the state assembly I offered to step down from the chief ministership if it was required to pave the way for meaningful talks," he told PTI.

Despite enjoying over two-third majority in the assembly his party unanimously agreed to "sacrifice power" for a lasting solution of Kashmir problem, if required, he said addressing a public meeting at Kulgam in Anantnag yesterday.

He was reacting to Sayeed's statement that the former chief minister always sabotaged peace efforts due to which the Centre could not make headway on this front during his rule.

Abdullah expressed confidence that the people would not be misled by the "misinformation and vilification" campaign of the Chief Minister as they are fully aware of "their past, their performance and their hidden agenda".

Attacking the Chief Minister, the NC patron said people should not forget the genocides in the state during Sayeed's tenure as Union Home Minister and the exodus of Kashmiri pundits for which he was "mainly responsible".

Abdullah claimed he had assured full cooperation to the Centre during the Agra and Lahore summits and it was "only with his support" that the parleys between the Central Government representatives and the Hizbul Mujahideen leadership could take place in July 2000.

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