No unchecked movement across LoC: Mukherjee
21 October 2005
The News International
New Delhi: Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee has said India will not allow the unchecked flow of people through the Line of Control (LoC) in the wake of an earthquake that killed more than 52,000 in the region. Mukherjee said some places could be identified along the LoC where relief material for quake victims could be sent across freely, the Press Trust of India reported on Friday. The minister was responding to Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's suggestion on Tuesday of opening up the LoC to allow Kashmiris to cross over to aid stricken relatives in Azad Kashmir. 'If it (Islamabad's proposal) covers those carrying relief material, they can go without obstacles ... Places could be identified for them. But it (LoC) cannot be opened for anybody and everybody,' Mukherjee said. The 'earthquake cannot alter the history of last 50 years and I am putting it very candidly,' he said referring to the rivalry between India and Pakistan over the disputed Kashmir region. 'But it (Musharraf's proposals) can provide an opportunity by creating an atmosphere where we can provide assistance to the victims and surely, in that condition, better understanding (between India and Pakistan) is possible,' Mukherjee said.