August 2007 News

Kashmiris mark Pakistans 60 years with calls for India to quit

14 August 2007
The Daily Times

Islamabad: Pakistans 60th Independence Day was observed Tuesday in Muzaffarabad with calls for India to quit the Himalayan state. Pakistani and Kashmiri flags were raised at the presidential palace in the mountain-ringed capital. A police contingent presented a guard of honour to AJK President Raja Zulqarnain and Premier Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan, officials said. The Pakistani flag fluttered over government and private buildings, which were lit-up at night with brightly coloured lights. Large banners read, Kashmir will become Pakistan, and Happy Independence Day. Pakistan and India should use their energies for the well-being of the people of the region and for the survival of all the people of the world, said Zulqarnain during a meeting with the AJK PM. The divided territory of Kashmir has sparked two of the three wars fought between India and Pakistan since their independence from Britain in 1947, and an insurgency against Indian rule began in the state in 1989. A peace process was launched by the two nuclear-armed neighbours in 2004, and although violence has dipped significantly on the ground, there has been scant progress on issues such as troop reductions. Kashmiris have also seen no movement by India towards addressing the wider issue of the future of the region, with New Delhi refusing to even acknowledge that Kashmir is disputed territory. India accuses Pakistan of arming, training and pushing across rebels into Indian Kashmir. Indian officials routinely refer to Kashmiri rebels fighting New Delhis rule in the insurgency-racked Himalayan region as terrorists. They charge that Islamabad has done little to rein in militant groups based in Pakistan. Meanwhile, the All Parties Hurriyat Conference has congratulated the people and the government of Pakistan on the countrys Independence Day.


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