May 2003 News

Soft Border No Substitute To Talks: Hurriyat

18 May 2003
The Times of India

New Delhi: Hurriyat Conference on Sunday said softening of the line of control or the border in Jammu and Kashmir should be considered only after the talks on the Kashmir issue had started and warned that this policy should not be construed as a permanent solution to the problem. 'When talks start, we will consider each issue with a perspective and with a purpose but we should not forget the bone of contention was 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. Stating that the proposed talks should not be held for the sake of talks, he said: 'The solution has to be worked out on a principle and for a cause.' 'The line drawn as a consequence of hostilities amidst blood and cutting as it does across our souls, can never be a lasting border,' said Bhat, who is at the fag end of his chairmanship of the amalgam. The chairman was also in favour of maintaining silence over the issue saying 'let us not do something or say something to vitiate the propitious climate that has started generating in the sub-continent'. Asked to comment on the present situation in the sub- continent, the Hurriyat chairman expressed happiness and said 'the under current of India and Pakistan is Kashmir which has to be addressed with a view to ensuring a brighter future for the people of the entire region'. 'The Prime Minister's statesman like speech followed by statements from Pakistan will surely usher in an era of peace and prosperity,' Bhat said. However, he warned that no peace could happen 'in a vacuum and no prosperity' could be achieved by mere statements. 'The leadership in the sub-continent will have to rise above their traditional positions, recognise the stark realities and settle down for purposeful talks,' he said. The Hurriyat chief said that his amalgam was equipped to contribute its bit for solving of the issue. Meanwhile, sources in the amalgam said a meeting between Hurriyat and Kashmir Committee was likely to take place later this week.


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