Back from a tour of Pakistan, the moderate faction of separatist Hurriyat Conference on Wednesday demanded abolition of the Line of Control between the divided Kashmir and warned that the dialogue process to solve Kashmir issue would derail if its pace was not acclerated.
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"We feel there is no need for a Line of Control dividing Kashmir between India and Pakistan and free movement of people of Jammu and Kashmir across the border should be ensured," Hurriyat Conference Chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq said addressing an Eid congregation at Jamia Masjid in Srinagar.
"The step could be a biggest confidence building measure," he said.
The Mirwaiz said barring the opening of Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road, the Centre had taken no positive step to build the confidence of the people.
"Opening of the road is welcome but we want trucks to ply on the road for trade between the two parts of Kashmir without any restrictions," he said.
Mirwaiz, who returned to Srinagar recently after a week-long trip to Pakistan during which he held talks with President Pervez Musharraf, said India needs to open up for debate and deliberate on new ideas for resolution of the issue including delimilitarisation and self-rule as proposed by Musharraf.
Flaying India for rejecting Musharraf's proposals, he said New Delhi should discuss and deliberate with Islamabad these ideas. "Reduction of troops in Jammu and Kashmir will create a conducive atmosphere for dialogue and build confidence," he said.
Expressing dismay over the pace of the dialogue between India and Pakistan, and between the Centre and his faction of the Hurriyat, the Mirwaiz said it needed to be acclerated.
"The peace process has been going on since the last three years but the progress as well as the process is very slow. We know we have to proceed step by step but it needs to be speeded up," he said, adding that Pakistan was 'very serious' to resolve the Kashmir issue and that India had to show flexibility in its stand on Kashmir.