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Hurriyat hawk slams joint statement

Source: PTI
April 18, 2005 23:55 IST
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Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Monday flayed the Indo-Pak joint statement saying it did not contain any concrete proposal to resolve the Kashmir issue.

"The joint declaration has failed to provide any sort of relief to the suffering Kashmiris, facing the worst kind of state terrorism," Geelani, chairman of the hard line faction of the Hurriyat Conference, said in a statement in Srinagar.

"Kashmiris should have been given some relief at this juncture when claims of headway to resolve the 57-year-old issue are being made by India and Pakistan," he said.

The joint statement was issued at the end of President Pervez Musharraf's visit to India.

"At least, announcements should have been made about release of political prisoners and revoking the Disturbed Areas Act, Public Safety Act and other laws," Geelani's statement said.

"How can common Kashmiris treat the ongoing dialogue between India and Pakistan as peace process in the absence of any such step," Geelani said.

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf flayed Geelani's and militant organisation's opposition to the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service.

He urged the separatist outfits to consider India's offer for talks saying this could lead to trilateral dialogue.

Asserting that the bus service was agreed to after gauging the popular demand for it from both sides of the Line of Control, Musharraf told the Pakistan media before leaving New Delhi for Manila that he has not understood the logic behind the opposition to the bus link.

Asked about the demand for including Kashmiris in talks, Musharraf said the Hurriyat leaders should use their 'brain' and join the talks with India and Pakistan separately. This will be a step in the direction of trilateral talks.

"One side (India) is not accepting (trilateral talks). We have no option but to talk. Let us talk. Begin talks. I left no doubt that without their (Kashmiris) wishes there cannot be a solution. We have to include them in talks sometime or the other," Musharraf said.

Referring to his theory of converting the Line of Control into a soft border before finding a solution to the Kashmir issue, Musharraf said, "Soft border is not a solution but a facilitation towards a solution."

Ultimately efforts should be to withdraw the army and make life better for the Kashmiris, he said.

Asked about Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's assertion that boundaries cannot be re-drawn, Musharraf said, "It is not good and I do not agree with it."

A kichdi has to be made out of concepts like 'independence, self governance, autonomy, joint control and joint management', he said.

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