NEW DELHI Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah today said his government has accepted the extension of cease-fire by another month with great difficulty in the face of militants continuing to kill innocent civilians.
Admitting that the borders were silent, Abdullah, who was a key-note speaker at a panel discussion on experiment with democracy organised by the International Press Institute (IPI) world Congress, said foreign, groups of Osama Bin Laden and Lashkar-e-Taiba were continuing with their explosions of IEDs and lobbing of grenades.
Taking a dig at Pakistan’s desire for annexation of Kashmir, Abdullah wondered that what Islamabad could do for Kashmiri Muslims after it failed to accept Muslims from erstwhile East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). Sounding a word of caution, the chief minister said the growing religious intolerance in the country is not a happy sign for the country’s democracy and the need of the hour was to fight the growing fundamentalist elements from bothHindu and Muslim communities.
Abdullah said that a small dose of dictatorship was needed to govern a huge population like that of India. Responding to Abdullah’s suggestion on dictatorship, he said it is better to have more discipline than dictatorship. The panel discussion was chaired by N. Ram, editor the Hindu. Other panelists included Vinod Mehta and Mark Tully.
(KASHMIR OBSERVER, 30 January, 2001)
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