June 2004 News

Give Kashmiris a role in talks: EU

24 June 2004
The Indian Express
Express News Staffer

New Delhi: The European Union parliamentary delegation, which met Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil today, sought the involvement of the people of Kashmir from both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) in any dialogue between India and Pakistan for a lasting solution. John Cushnahan, who led the delegation, said the Kashmir problem was a ‘‘tragedy of huge proportion’’ . ‘‘The people of Kashmir, who have been affected the most by the failure to resolve the issue, should be involved to find some answers to the over 50-year problem,’’ he said after an hour-long meeting with Patil. The EU team returned today from their three-day visit to J-K. They said that while the issue, at present, was being dealt by the governments of India and Pakistan, ‘‘the entire political spectrum involving all of Kashmir’’ should be part of the dialogue. They also met National Security Advisor J.N. Dixit. Meanwhile, the separatist camp in J-K cheered the EU team’s remarks endorsing their role for tripartite talks. The team drew praise from a wide range of separatist leaders from hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Yasin Malik to Abdul Gani Bhat of the moderate Hurriyat Conference.


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