October 2005 News

All seven routes be opened: Mirwaiz

21 October 2005
The Dawn
Jawed Naqvi

New Delhi: Having proposed opening of the Line of Control for divided Kashmiri families to meet and grieve with each other, Pakistan indicated on Friday that it does not foresee a time-limit in this regard and that the measure could remain in force indefinitely. “We will not place a time-limit of weeks or months on this,” Foreign Minister Khursheed Kasuri told the Asian Age newspaper. High-level Pakistani sources told Dawn on Friday that the proposal made by President Gen Pervez Musharraf was to be turned into a formal idea that would be presented to India next week. All Parties Hurriyat Conference leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, speaking on telephone from Srinagar, said he had urged the Indian government to open up all the seven road links the two sides of divided Kashmir. The links include Kargil-Skardu, Uri- Muzaffarabad, Tangdar-Teetwal, Poonch–Rawalakot, Jammu-Sialkot roads and Naushera sector road network. “There should be a simple procedure,” Mr Farooq said. “The documents should be simple and not involve tedious inquiries and bureaucratic formalities. A simple travel identity paper issued by each government should suffice.” According to the paper, Mr Kasuri said it was now for experts from India and Pakistan to meet and sort out the modalities. India has welcomed the move to open the LoC, but has said it was awaiting the formal proposal. An Indian spokesperson on Friday denied reports claiming that India had rejected the idea. Asked about the travel documents, he said that this, and other details, would be worked out by the ministries of home and foreign affairs of both India and Pakistan. Mr Kasuri said both sides should encourage free movement as much as possible. He said President Musharraf had outlined a policy to bring some relief to the divided families who wanted to interact. Asked about media reports about militants having supplanted the army in relief operations, Mr Kasuri said the army was always there. Click to learn more...


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