November 2002 News

Kashmir panel, Blackwill flay temple attack

25 November 2002
The Times of India

NEW DELHI: The Ram Jethmalani-led Kashmir Committee has condemned the terrorist attack on the Raghunath temple in Jammu on Sunday night, holding that even separatist outfits like the Hurriyat Conference, Democratic Freedom Party and other political elements ''have resolved that violence has no role in the resolution of the Kashmir issue''. The committee expressed the hope that the Hurriyat and other separatist groups would ''publicly denounce the barbarism witnessed at Raghunath temple as a crime against humanity'' to demonstrate that they honour their commitments. US ambassador Robert Blackwill also met Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani on Monday to express his outrage over the incident. ''What I told him (Advani) was that it was hard to think of people who would plan and think of attacks like this, knowing that the victims would be innocent women and children,'' said Blackwill. The Kashmir Committee, in turn, said ''This heinous act of terrorism demonstrates the cowardice of the enemy and underscores the motives of the killers for provoking communal tensions in the country.'' In a statement issued by its convener Ashok Bhan, the committee said such acts were aimed at frustrating the efforts of the Union and state governments to ''vigorously create conditions'' that could lead to peace and dialogue aimed at addressing the Kashmir imbroglio. ''By the same token, the terrorists have attempted to derail the ongoing dialogue and peace process between the Kashmir Committee and the separatist groups and all other political elements,'' it said.


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