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Joint control of Kashmir impractical: Governor

Source: PTI
December 23, 2006 17:45 IST
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Maintaining that India is open to proposals from Pakistan for resolving the Kashmir issue, Jammu and Kashmir Governor Lt Gen (retd) S K Sinha has said joint control over the valley seems to be impractical.

"I do not think that there can be consensus on joint supervision," he told reporters during his visit to Poonch on Friday.

Sinha said Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf would have to demonstrate his sincerity for resolving the issue with India by dismantling the terrorist camps across the border.

However, the process of dialogue was on with Islamabad and on the domestic front round table conferences had taken place, he said, adding that working groups were constantly meeting to address different dimensions of the issue.

Asked about the slow progress in confidence building measures between the two countries, Sinha expressed the hope that the proposed visit of External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee to Pakistan will help removing obstacles on various issues.

Sinha agreed that more roads needed to be opened and trade ties started for economic betterment of the people on two sides. He said while Poonch-Rawlakote and Uri-Muzaffarabad roads have been opened, Pakistan has not so far responded to opening of two more links, Jammu-Sialkote and Kargil-Skardu.

Asked about Musharraf's four-point formula, especially self-rule for Kashmir, the Governor said that Indian democracy is the most vibrant in the world, and within the country, Jammu and Kashmir enjoys more democracy than any other state.

He pointed out that no legislation passed by Pakistan occupied Kashmir assembly can become a law till approved by the Minister in-charge Kashmir affairs in Pakistan cabinet.

Sinha said that unlike PoK, where voices of the people were being throttled, separatist leaders in Kashmir were expressing their views freely to the extent of preaching sedition and making anti-national statements.

"On top of it they are being provided security and also when required medical treatment at the cost of tax payers' money. Can this happen in any other democracy in the world," he asked.

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