Imran Wants Swiss Model For Kashmir
5 November 2004
The Hindustan Times
New Delhi: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah on Friday favoured a 20-year moratorium on Kashmir issue for normalisation of Indo-Pak ties and differed with Pakistan's cricketer-turned- politician Imran Khan who suggested a Switzerland-type of status for the state.Khan, President of Tehreek-e-Insaaf party, emphasised the essentiality of ascertaining wishes of 'genuine representatives' of Jammu and Kashmir who could be chosen through 'free and fair elections under UN supervision in the entire undivided state in demilitarised condition.' 'For a solution to the Kashmir issue, we can look at Switzerland where people of different ethnicities live in an autonomous and proper democratic set-up. Kashmiris may like to have such a system,' he said. Abdullah, sharing dais with Khan at Hindustan Times Leadership Initiative Conference, differed on this solution and favoured grant of 'maximum autonomy' to all parts of the undivided state under the prevailing structure. The National Conference leader suggested conversion of Line of Control (LoC) into 'soft' international border across which people of the state could freely 'meet, interact, do business and even marry'. 'Frequent people-to-people interaction will help overcome the misgivings regarding the other part of Jammu and Kashmir prevailing due to ignorance,' he said.