India must soften stand on Kashmir, says Mirwaiz
8 December 2004
Srinagar: Pakistan has softened its stand on Kashmir, making it more flexible and India must also adopt a similar attitude, says leader of the All- Parties Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. Kashmir Media Service quoted Mir Waiz as telling journalists that President General Pervez Musharraf had floated some proposals and asked Pakistani people to debate them, adding that if New Delhi had any proposal, it should also make it public so that all three parties to the dispute could discuss it. He said that there had been a massive increase in human rights violations, especially after the visit of the Indian prime minister and the home minister to the occupied Kashmir. He urged the governments of India and the occupied Kashmir to end human rights violations in the occupied territory to make the atmosphere conducive for talks. He also appealed to the international community to persuade the Indian government to lower the level of atrocities on people. Mir Waiz also urged New Delhi to repeal special powers given to its armed forces to prove its sincerity. HUMAN RIGHTS The people in the occupied Kashmir will have to be prepared to protect themselves against human rights violations by Indian forces, says President of the Democratic Freedom Party Shabbir Ahmad Shah. Kashmir Media Service cited from a statement in which he expressed concern over the international community's silence on what it termed large-scale human rights abuses in the occupied Kashmir. Criticizing international community, he said that world wide human rights organisations were doing nothing to stop these atrocities and acting as mere spectators. Expressing concern over the rising number of incidents of human rights abuse, he said that peaceful demonstrators were being fired upon and women were being molested and then forced not to protest against such inhuman acts. Mr Shah criticized the occupied Kashmir government and held it responsible for the deterioration in human rights situation in the territory.