Separatists, mainstream oppose the move

ABID BASHIR

Srinagar, Dec 17: With the Government of India mulling to put in place all-weather permanent fence along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir, both separatist and mainstream camps are opposing the move. The Hurriyat Conference (M) has, meanwhile, started building pressure on India and Pakistan to make the ‘borders irrelevant’ to give impetus to their latest demand for unification of divided Kashmir.
“It is high time for India and Pakistan to allow free movement of people of divided parts of Kashmir. We urge both, India and Pakistan to show flexibility and accept the facts and allow the people of divided sides to meet whenever they wish,” Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq told Greater Kashmir over phone from Muzaffarabad after having discussions with the top leadership of Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK). Mirwaiz, currently on a week-long sojourn to Pakistan, said it is time for both the nations to shun rigidity and remove restrictions on the movement of people of the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir so that they can meet anytime they wish.
“We have come to know that New Delhi is planning to put up permanent fence along the LoC.  We will oppose the move tooth and nail,” Mirwaiz said. “The world is moving forward on improving communication and opening new routes for trade to become economically self-reliant. This is high time for India and Pakistan to open all routes on the LoC and forget the proposal of blocking the routes through new fencing.”
He said unfortunately neither Pakistan nor the Indian leadership has allowed the people of the divided parts of Kashmir to meet each other. “We have made it clear that Hurriyat wants J&K to emerge as a single entity as it existed before 1947,” the Hurriyat Chairman said.
Senior Hurriyat (M) leader, Shabir Ahmed Shah, who has applied for LoC permit to travel to PaK, said India and Pakistan achieved freedom and left “the already free nation — J&K as an occupied region.”
“There is no denying the fact that the other side of the Kashmir is part of this side. There has to be unification. There should be no boundaries,” Shah said. “The Government of India’s plan to fix steel or iron fencing, won’t divide the hearts of people of the two sides. The bloody line drawn to divide two sides has to vanish.”
He said the Hurriyat leadership will appeal the international community to intervene into the issue of all-weather fencing proposal of New Delhi. “I think New Delhi has forgotten that world community including United Nations have accepted J&K as a disputed territory. So fencing is another move to scuttle the move to see both Kashmirs united,” he said.
Hurriyat Conference (G) said it will oppose both, opening of routes and fencing as well. “Both these steps are going to affect the disputed nature of Kashmir. We want things as they are till Kashmir is resolved as per the United Nations resolutions,” said Ayaz Akbar Hurriyat (G) spokesman Ayaz Akbar said. “Opening of routes and fencing are the steps to divert the attention from UN resolutions. We will oppose both the moves,” he said.
The ruling National Conference (NC) is of the belief that fencing may be the need of New Delhi’s defence policy, but it would not affect the basic nature of the Kashmir problem.  “It’s a military measure which is not going to help India. It means money going down the drain,” said NC Additional General Secretary Dr Mustafa Kamaal. “I fully endorse Mirwaiz’s views of unification of two divided parts. New Delhi should realize that fencing or no fencing is not going to bury the main problem of Kashmir. Why do they forget that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has announced that borders can be made irrelevant?”
“I believe India and Pakistan should work out a proposal so that there would be no infiltration. We hope traditional routes are not fenced,” said PDP chief spokesman, Naeem Akhtar. “We continue to stick to our stand that all traditional routes be opened so that there is an economic interaction between the two sides and the rest of the world.”
Akhtar said India and Pakistan should allow the economic activities on the lines of Europe and other civilized countries.

Lastupdate on : Mon, 17 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 17 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 18 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST




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