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Pakistan succumbed to India, US pressure

By Onkar Singh in New Delhi
April 19, 2005 12:55 IST
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Syed Ali Shah Geelani, the pro-Pakistan Kashmiri separatist leader who has his own version of the Hurriyat Conference, says there is nothing for the people of Kashmir in the joint statement issued by India and Pakistan at the end of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's three-day visit.

The Musharraf Visit

A dejected Geelani told in New Delhi before flying to Srinagar on Tuesday, "I do not see anything to be cheerful about in the joint statement. We are deeply disappointed."

Asked if Pakistan has changed its tactics and dumped the Kashmiri people, Geelani felt Pakistan has bowed down to two powerful nations and may have been forced to change its stand. "America and India are two powerful nations and Pakistan has succumbed to their pressure. But we are not going to give up our mission. We have lost close to one lakh lives. Our boys have sacrificed their lives for the just cause of the Kashmiri people," he said.

Discussing the threat held out by some militant outfits that they will step up violence in the Kashmir valley, Geelani said, "You cannot call them terrorists when they are fighting for a just cause. We are going to keep our struggle peaceful to attain our goals," he said.

Mehbooba Mufti, chairperson of Jammu and Kashmir's ruling People's Democratic Party, did not agree with Geelani. "If anything, the joint statement has clarified that the talks about the eventual settlement of the Kashmir issue will continue," she said.

"The statement," Mehbooba added, "has clarified the doubts in the people's minds that India and Pakistan were heading towards converting the Line of Control into the international border."

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Onkar Singh in New Delhi