Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Farooq hits left, right and centre

Reveals identity of Kashmir's corrupt

Naseer A Ganai

Srinagar, Oct 13: The Minister of New and Renewable Energy Dr Farooq Abdullah on Tuesday hit hard at New Delhi accused it of not being serious in result oriented dialogue, charged some journalists of Kashmir of being conduits of agencies, described politicians and bureaucrats of the State as corrupt and said security forces were interested in status quo. 

While addressing All India Editors Conference Dr Abdullah described the journalists as trouble mongers and accused “some of them of creating turmoil.” “Let us call a spade a spade. I don’t believe in hiding behind the bush,” Dr Abdullah said.

He said the media blows up a small incident in Kupwara or any other place in a way which gives impression as if whole State was under fire. “I tell you there is tremendous vested interest in Kashmir. There are paid lobbies. Some are being paid by friends from across the border. They want to make Kashmir Pakistan. But it would never become Pakistan. Those who were trying to take Kashmir in that direction would change themselves, but Kashmir wouldn’t become part of Pakistan,” he said.

Then he changed the direction and targeted New Delhi. He ridiculed it and its dialogue process. That too in presence of two cabinet Ministers of Government of India, the Minister for Broadcasting and Information Ambika Soni and the Minister for Minority Affairs Salman Khurshid. Omer Abdullah, the chief minister was visibly perturbed by the speech.

Dr Abdullah said New Delhi doesn’t know what “the hell dialogue is all about.” “The audience responded with laughter. “They (New Delhi) go on dialoging and dialoging without drawing anything concrete out of it,” he said. He said people ask what has happened to the Committees and their recommendations and there are answers. “It is here government of India loses its face,” he said.

He asked New Delhi to explain what stops it from moving forward in the dialogue. He cited example of Justice Sagir committee on central state relations and asked what has happened to it. “How long you would make us wait for these decisions,” Dr Abdullah said. He asked New Delhi to settle the problem with Pakistan. “You should talk to Pakistan and find a solution to Kashmir problem,” he said.

Dr Abdullah then came back to the State politics and explained the Minister for Information and Broadcasting Ambika Soni and others how Doordarshan Kendra runs in the State. “We launched Kashur channel with grand ceremony in Lalit (grand place) hotel. We thought this channel would bring political messages through its programmes. But it was marred by corruption. The level of corruption was such that even politicians were making serials for it,” he said and audience was in raptures. The Director Doordarshan Rafiq Masoodi, who was on front row, preferred to leave the hall only to return at the fag end of Dr Abdullah’s speech.

Dr Abdullah said there was corruption everywhere in the State. “There is corruption in politicians, in bureaucrats, security forces and they don’t want any settlement between India and Pakistan,” he said.

He had many examples to cite.

“When I was chief minister, the then defence minister George Fernandes was in Srinagar. He wanted to see a militant and a journalist took him along to see militants,” he said adding the militants were toning to a radio station from across the border.

 “The radio station was spilling venom and lies and it was inciting people across the border. It was saying Islam is in danger. George told me the Government has jammed its signals. I went inside my home and got a transistor and toned to the station. Its voice was clear. This is your jamming, I told George,” Farooq said.

Responding to speech of Ambika Soni, who described 400 newspapers in Kashmir as positive sign, Dr Abdullah described these 400 newspapers as freeloaders. He said they were coming out with the newspapers for advertisements. He asked Ambika Soni to check these free loaders. “Take off these free loaders,” he said.  He said some people have already started process to pull down the present government. “They are writing complaints and complaints. And once you will investigate where from these complaints come, you would never find the complainant” he said.




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