New Delhi: Releasing five terrorists in lieu of Rubaiya Sayeed, daughter of Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohamed Sayeed in 1989 was a grave mistake, said Farooq Abdullah, former J&K chief minister.
Abdullah also came down heavily on the release of three hardcore militants in exchange of 184 passengers of hijacked IC-814 aircraft in 1999, another controversial revelation in the book. Abdullah said that he was adamant in not releasing the terrorists, and he had expressed his reservations to the then Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani as well as External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh. Abdullah said he felt that Advani was being pushed into the decision of releasing the terrorists. “I told them we have to fight our battle against terrorism and we can’t go soft on it,” he said.
Another controversy which the book raised was that former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2002 promised to make Abdullah the vice-president, but later backtracked. When asked whether he felt cheated by the incident, Abdullah said that one has to move on in life. “I did get hurt but one has to move ahead in life. It’s meaningless to get stuck in life with setbacks,” Abdullah said.
The former J & K chief minister warned that the country needed to wake up to the threat of fundamentalism adding that the central government needed to trust Kashmiris. “They are not your enemies,” he added. The book was mired in controversies much before its release