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Azad Kashmir is a myth: PoK leaders

By Onkar Singh in New Delhi
Last updated on: September 28, 2005 21:09 IST
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"Azad Kashmir is a myth," said two top Pakistani Occupied Kashmir politicians in New Delhi.

Spekaing exclusively to, Professor Muhammad Abdul Razzaq Khan Khaleeque, president of the National Awami Party of Jammu and Kashmir and Muhammad Arif Khan Shahid, chairman of the All Parties National Alliance, said that the move for independence from Pakistan is gaining momentum.

Shahid has been jailed many times for protesting against Pakistani rule in PoK. He praised the functioning of Indian democracy. "We have seen that India has a functional democracy but in Pakistan, we have dictatorship and it is the military officers who call the shots in our part of Kashmir, no matter which government is in power," he said.

Both of them did not agree with Sardar Mohammad Abdul Qayyum Khan that independent Kashmir is 'a mental luxury'. "We are fighting for reunification of the two Kashmirs. We know that this is not possible immediately but it should happen. Sardar Qayyum Khan has his own concept of Kashmir and we do not agree with it," they said.

The two leaders were in Delhi to take part in the 'Heart-to-Heart Talks' at the intra-Kashmir conference, organised jointly by the Indian Council of World Affairs and the National Panther's Party, headed by Bhim Singh.

"The people of PoK are interested in a solution to the Kashmir problem. We are happy that the bus service between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad has been started. More routes should be opened so that the people can intermingle with each other," Shahid said.

Both Shahid and Khaleeque denied having seen terrorist camps in Pakistan. "We have not met people like the Hizbul Mujahideen leader in PoK, Salahuddin. They are protected by the Pakistani Army. India should have driven the Pakistani raiders out of PoK in 1947 and taken full control of Kashmir," they said.

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Onkar Singh in New Delhi