December 2004 News

Militant Camps Very Much In Muzzafarabad: PoK Leader

10 December 2004
The Indian Express

Muzaffarabad: Despite assurance to India that it will not allow its soil to be used by terrorists, Pakistan continues to maintain militant camps in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) and Gilgit and Baltistan, says Shazia Ghulam Din, daughter-in-law of Jammu and Kashmir National Liberation Front founder Maqbool Bhatt. The Pakistani establishment has merged several of these camps and moved them away in the periphery of Muzzafarabad and other areas in PoK,' she told PTI in Muzzafarabad during a visit of Indian journalists to this part of Kashmir. Shazia's husband, Showkat Bhat, who heads the All Parties National Alliance (APNA) in PoK, and the leaders of this group were kept away from the Indian scribes because of their open opposition to Pakistan's policies in PoK. 'Had you people been allowed to move without any hinderance, you could have spotted some of the camps though some of them had been shifted to Gilgit and Baltistan areas and no Kashmiri or ordinary Pakistani has the right to visit these places,' said Shazia, who had to struggle to make her entry into the hotel where Indian scribes were lodged. She said the presence of foreign mercenaries in PoK had created major social problems for the locals and the world community will come to know about the real situation once the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service is launched. The Kashmiri cuture and secular ethos had suffered 'constant degradation' because of these foreign mercenaries.


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