Kashmir Party 'to Frame Proposal'
17 June 2005
Srinagar: Indian-administered Kashmir's governing party says it will frame its own plans to resolve the dispute over the region. The People's Democratic Party said it would work urgently on its proposals to meet fast-moving developments. The move follows a landmark visit to Pakistan by moderate separatists who oppose Indian rule - a trip condemned by hardliners. Separately, the Indian army said it shot dead six suspected militants on Wednesday night. QUICK GUIDE Kashmir dispute More than 40,000 people have died in Kashmir in 14 years of hardline insurgency India and Pakistan embarked on a peace process there about 18 months ago. Mosque address The governing People's Democratic Party (PDP) in Indian-administered Kashmir is setting up a committee to suggest various solutions to the dispute, its president, Mehbooba Mufti, daughter of chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, told a news conference in Srinagar on Friday. Ms Mufti said the committee would be set up in a couple of weeks and the party would then discuss the various proposals before putting one of them to the people. Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said a solution to Kashmir was coming The PDP's announcement comes a day after the moderate leaders of the separatist All-Party Hurriyat Conference returned from their trip to Pakistan. The chairman of the moderate faction, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, told a cheering crowd at the historic Jama Masjid, or grand mosque, in Srinagar on Friday that the process of resolving Kashmir had begun. 'I assure you that the day is not far when Kashmir will be resolved in accordance with the aspirations of Kashmiri people,' he said. Mr Farooq said he would not allow the Kashmir dispute to become frozen and rejected the option of converting the Line of Control that divides Kashmir into a permanent border. Also on Friday, four front-ranking militant groups in Indian-administered Kashmir strongly criticised the moderate leaders. Al-Nasirin, Farzandan-e-Milat, the Save Kashmir Movement and Al-Arifin accused the leaders of trying to get Pakistan to ban militant groups fighting Indian rule. The militants said the leaders were acting on behalf of India's intelligence agency. In the latest violence, a defence spokesman in Indian-administered Kashmir said Indian troops had killed six suspected militants in a gun battle near the Line of Control. He said the fighting broke out on Wednesday night as troops tried to halt a suspected militant infiltration.