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US has no Kashmir roadmap: JKLF

By H S Rao in London
June 28, 2003 14:48 IST
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The United States does not have a roadmap for the resolution of the Kashmir dispute.

According to a four-member delegation of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, which has just concluded a visit to the US at the invitation of the American government, representatives of the state department conveyed that the dispute had to be 'resolved through a process of dialogue'.

"However, as a friend America is prepared to play its supportive and advisory role," Abbas Butt, president of the JKLF (UK and Europe), said in London on his return from the US.

While tackling the dispute the views of Kashmiri people had to be ascertained and 'violence and extremism have to be opposed, as it is not the way forward' the state department officials were quoted as saying by Shabir Choudhury, chairman of the diplomatic committee of the JKLF.

The JKLF leaders claimed that the US government officials 'concurred' with their view that the All Party Hurriyat Conference 'was not a representative' of the Kashmiri people and it lacked a vision and a 'programme' to tackle the situation.

The APHC had 'miserably failed to win the trust of minorities, expand into Jammu, Ladakh, (Pakistan-occupied) Kashmir, Gilgit and Baltistan', Butt and Choudhury said.

Butt said, "The people of Kashmir are the principle party to this longstanding dispute, and they should have the final say on the future status of the state.

"In any case, history of bilateralism between the two (India and Pakistan) proves that they have not been able to make progress, and it is also because of this that the people of Kashmir must be involved in the peace process."

Jammu and Kashmir is multi-religious and multi-ethnic state, and must remain as such, he said. "Any attempt to change this character of the State could result in more problems and violence¬Ö"

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H S Rao in London