July 2007 News

UJC dismisses Indian PM’s views on LoC

17 July 2007
The Dawn

Muzaffarabad: United Jihad Council chairman Syed Salahuddin has dismissed the recent address of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to students of the Jammu University as a “sugar-coated poison”. He said the Indian premier’s statement did not take into account the ground realities of the disputed Himalayan region. “It’s not the Line of Control but the line of conflict which has divided our motherland and separated tens of thousands of families and estranged relations between people,” he said in a statement issued here. The UJC statement focussed on Indian premier’s views on the Line of Control and did not touch upon his invitation to pro-freedom groups for the next New Delhi-sponsored roundtable conference. Kashmiris never accepted the ‘bloody line,’ Mr Salahuddin said, asking how could a line which had triggered the massacre of more than 500,000 Kashmiris be referred to as a symbol of peace. “This line has not only devastated the peace of occupied Kashmir but also that of India and Pakistan and unless the issue created by it is resolved for good on the basis of right to self-determination it cannot become a line of peace,” he said. The UJC chief was of the view that peace could not be established by making pledges of development or paying attention to economic, fiscal and social problems of the Kashmir valley and Jammu and Ladakh regions. He pointed out that the Kashmir question was a six-decade-old reality and it was meaningless to talk about other rights while ignoring the fundamental right of the Kashmiris — the right to self-determination. Mr Salahuddin said India had thrust slavery upon the Kashmiris by occupying their motherland and no economic package or financial or social reforms could prove beneficial unless the issue of slavery was addressed. He said India had given a freehand to its 750,000 troops in occupied Kashmir to perpetrate massacre of Kashmiris and other human rights violations with impunity. “And the irony is that Mr Manmohan Singh talks about peace in this atmosphere of fear and turbulence. Either he is driven by illusions or is trying to hoodwink the Kashmiris by considering them as fools,” he said. Mr Salahuddin said the friendship bridge between Pakistan, India and Kashmir could be built only when the people of the disputed territory are given their right to live. “Kashmiris are a peace-loving nation and their homeland can turn into a real territory of peace once India ends its illegal occupation and provides them a chance to decide their future with their own free will,” he said. He said that in the presence of unresolved Kashmir issue, India’s own economic progress would remain a distant dream because it had to spend 70 per cent of its budget to sustain occupation of Kashmir whereas more than 400 million of its people continued to live below the poverty line. The UJC chief said India’s dream to crush the freedom movement in occupied Kashmir through military might would never materialise and it (movement) would continue with full force at all fronts.


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