December 2007 News

Kashmiris Stopped At LoC By Pakistan Police

1 December 2007
The Hindustan Times

Muzaffarabad: Pakistani authorities have prevented Kashmiri activists from staging a demonstration in support of free trade and movement of people by road between the Indian and Pakistani Kashmir. The activists in the Pakistani part of Kashmir had planned to organise the protest at Chakothi, a town near the Line of Control (LoC) that divides Jammu and Kashmir between India and Pakistan. Chakothi is on the Pakistani side. They were clamouring for free movement of people and trade through the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road link. The demonstrators belonging to the All Parties National Alliance (APNA), a conglomerate of about a dozen pro-independence Kashmiri groups in Pakistan, shouted slogans in favour of a free Kashmir as police stopped them near a military post, Dawn newspaper reported on Saturday. A spokesman for APNA had announced that they would hold a 'peaceful, symbolic demonstration' in Chakothi to 'reflect the peoples' desire for early launch of trade between Muzaffarabad and Srinagar'. The activists approached the military post outside the Chakothi bazaar. The instructions to the police to stop them reportedly came from the army. The army had erected a temporary barrier some 200 metres beyond the military post. Angered by the authorities' move, APNA activists shouted slogans against the Pakistani government. A bus link now connects Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistani Kashmir, with Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, but it is open only to those who have relatives on the other side.


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