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|February 20, 1999||
Panun Kashmir protests Vajpayee's Lahore visit
Panun Kashmir, an organisation of 700,000 Kashmiri Hindus in the metropolis including school students today held demonstrations against Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's visit to Pakistan, at Azad Maidan in South Bombay.
Ashok Pandit, western zone coordinator of the organisation said Pakistan was responsible for the ouster of 400,000 Kashmiri Hindus from their homes and have forced them to become refugees in their own country.
''It is unfortunate that the prime minister of India is visiting that country which had also resorted to insurgent activities in several parts of our country including a series of bomb blasts in Bombay in which thousands of innocent people were killed," he added.
It is also a matter of shame that the person of the stature of prime minister is visiting Lahore in a bus and taking apolitical people along with him. He should take persons who are well versed with the issues concerning both the countries, he added.
Pandit expressed fear that the Kashmir issue would not figure in the talks between the two leaders and added that he should have solved the issue pertaining to Kashmir before chalking out programmes to visit Pakistan. He therefore urged Vajpayee to visit Kashmir first and then think of visiting Pakistan.
Pakistan is responsible for regularly talking against India at all world forums and still continuing to do so, he said, adding, ''I am sure that after one week of the visit, Pakistan will issue a statement branding Kashmir a disputed area''.
The Panun Kashmiris feel that Vajpayee should have visited Pakistan only after it admitted that Kashmir is a part of India and no discussions on Kashmir issue would be held in future, he added.
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