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Soft border cannot be substitute to talks: Hurriyat

By Sumir Kaul in New Delhi
May 18, 2003 17:33 IST
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Softening of Jammu and Kashmir's border with Pakistan as advocated by Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed should be considered only after talks on the Kashmir issue is started with Pakistan, All Party Hurriyat Conference said on Sunday.

"We should not forget the bone of contention is the LoC which, by no stretch of imagination, can be construed as a base for a permanent and lasting solution of the Kashmir problem," Hurriyat chairman Abdul Gani Bhat said. "The line drawn as a consequence of hostilities amidst blood and cutting as it does across our souls, can never be a lasting border."

"The solution (to the Kashmir issue) has to be worked out on a principle and for a cause," he added.

Refusing to comment on the recent peace moves of India and Pakistan, Bhat said, "Let us not do something or say something to vitiate the propitious climate that has started generating in the sub-continent."

"Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's statesman-like speech followed by statements from Pakistan will surely usher in an era of peace and prosperity," Bhat said. "The leadership in the subcontinent will have to rise above their traditional positions, recognise the stark realities and settle down for purposeful talks."

The Hurriyat chairman said his amalgam was 'well equipped' to contribute its bit for solving the Kashmir issue.

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Sumir Kaul in New Delhi
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