Divide Kashmir into five zones: Mirwaiz
19 April 2006
The News International
Mendhar: In a roadmap for the settlement of the Kashmir issue, All Parties Hurriyat Conference chief Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has proposed division of the region into five zones, ie Jammu division, Kashmir Valley, Ladakh, Northern Areas and Azad Kashmir. The Mirwaiz said there should be an assembly in each zone and then a joint parliament be formed out of these assembly zones and representatives from both India and Pakistan be allowed in the joint parliament. Addressing a huge gathering at Mendhar in Jammu province, the Mirwiaz said the Hurriyat roadmap on the Kashmir dispute was the 'only viable formula' to settle the issue. He said the Hurriyat had started negotiations in this regard. 'Some people accuse us of being representatives of a specific area. But the Hurriyat represents each and every section of the Jammu and Kashmir, including Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas,' the Mirwaiz was quoted by Greater Kashmir as saying. He reiterated his demand for a complete withdrawal of troops from Kashmir, which he described as a first step towards the resolution of the Kashmir issue. Demanding opening of the Poonch-Uri road, the Mirwiaz said it was unfortunate that people here were not allowed to meet their brethren across the Line of Control (LoC). Emphasising the opening of road links, the Mirwaiz said that Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh wanted to create such atmosphere where people of Jammu and Kashmir should not feel whether they were in Muzaffarabad or Srinagar. He said once these border areas were opened, they would develop. 'These areas have tremendous potential but they have been closed down,' he added. The Mirwaiz who was accompanied by Aga Sayeed Hassan Badgami, Bilal Ghani Lone, Nayeem Khan, Abbas Ansari and Dr Hubbi, said he would be frequently visiting the Jammu region.