'The Kashmir Files': Dr Farooq Demands Truth & Reconciliation Commission


New Delhi- Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah on Tuesday broke his silence on 'The Kashmir Files' movie, which is based on the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley, saying the film was far from reality and nothing but ''propaganda'' to polarise the nation.

Abdullah, who has been targeted by the BJP over the migration of Kashmiri pandits, also suggested setting up of a 'Truth and Reconciliation Commission' headed by an ''honest'' person to find out what had happened at that time.

"Whatever happened in 1990 was a tragedy. My Kashmiri pandit brothers and sisters had to leave their homes. I would like everything to be investigated properly as to who were the 'parties' interested in ethnic cleansing at that part of the time," Abdullah said in an interview to the PTI.

To a pointed question that the movie had shown him at the helm of affairs, the veteran National Conference leader said, "I had tendered my resignation. It was Farooq Abdullah who had objected to the release of five terrorists in exchange of the daughter of the then Union Home Minister (Mufti Mohammed Sayeed).

"Did anyone listen to me? I had warned them that this will boost the morale of terrorists but unfortunately, there were no takers in the government in Delhi. Everyone knows whose government was at the Centre who had extended the outside support," Abdullah, who is the Lok Sabha member from Srinagar parliamentary constituency, said.

The former chief minister alleged the movie is ''pure propaganda'' and was being deliberately hyped by people with vested interests to polarise the nation. "The movie is far away from reality and it is only to polarise the nation and let me tell the nation today that it is not a healthy development," he said.

Abdullah said his son Omar Abdullah, who has also been the chief minister of the erstwhile state, had been advocating the setting up of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission from the day he took over the office.

"Let us have it now. Get an honest person to head the Commission and let us investigate each and everything and after that, if I am guilty, the law will take care. Farooq Abdullah does not believe in fooling people," an agitated Abdullah said.

He said that his party has been demonised by the filmmakers for failing to protect the Kashmiri pandits. "But unfortunately, the facts speak the other way round. It was my Lok Sabha MP Pyare Lal Handoo who raised the issue of Kashmiri pandits in Lok Sabha. The debate is very much preserved in the Parliament library.

"It was my government that brought an Act in 1997 The Jammu and Kashmir Migrant Immovable Property (Preservation, protection and Restraint on distress sales). We meant business and not propaganda," he said.

The former chief minister also highlighted that it was his government that had opposed the release of three dreaded militants in 1999 in exchange of passengers of hijacked Indian Airline plane during the tenure of the BJP government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

"There were no takers whenever I objected rightfully," Abdullah said, adding "the immediate repercussion of the wrong decision was that we saw an attack on Jammu and Kashmir assembly and later on Parliament".

Abdullah said that he is not ready to take the blame for others' misdeeds.

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