Kashmir Shocked At Benazir's Assassination
28 December 2007
Srinagar: Cutting across party lines, politicians of all hues in Jammu and Kashmir have condemned the assassination of Pakistan's former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, terming it as a great loss to entire subcontinent with some describing it as a blow to Indo-Pakistan peace efforts. The assassination of Benazir Bhutto is an act of terrorism aimed at destabilizing Pakistan and denting the efforts to restore a genuine democracy in that country, was a common refrain. While pro- India politicians were unanimous in reading in her assassination a move by terrorists to snuff out moderate voice of Pakistan, Hurriyat Conference and other anti-India groups saw in it a clear attempt to destabilise Pakistan and to defeat efforts by President Musharraf to reach to a solution of Kashmir dispute with India. Expressing shock over the incident, Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said, 'The killing of Benazir was not assassination of an individual but of democracy in Pakistan which would impact the politics of the sub-continent.' He described Bhutto as an outstanding leader. Former Chief Minister and the Peoples Democratic Party patron, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, in his reaction said, 'It is a shattering moment of great loss and mourning for the people of the region,' He said and added that the time has come for all the right-thinking people in the region to take a fresh stock of the situation and work together for uprooting the scourge of violence and senseless blood- letting from the region. He said since it came into being, Pakistan is, for the first time facing an existential threat from within, and New Delhi must respond to the emerging situation by making offering greater cooperation to strengthen the forces of peace in that country. 'With Afghanistan already on the boil, destabilization and worsening of the security situation in Pakistan would only breed new alarming dangers in the region,' he said. Another former chief minister of the state and patron of the National Conference Farooq Abdullah said, 'The dangers are too obvious and the time has come when all the people and leaders in Pakistan should launch a united fight against terrorists. This is the only way out adding he was in favour of a national government in Pakistan comprising of army as it was impossible to fight the threat without them.' Chairman of the hardline faction of Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Shah Geelani condemned the assassination as a 'dastardly act'. Geelani, who is presently in the winter capital Jammu said this was an act of the forces working to 'destabilise Pakistan '.