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J&K: Musharraf's self-rule proposal sparks off debate

February 13, 2006 16:22 IST
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The proposals for self-rule and demilitarisation in Jammu and Kashmir mooted by Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf have sparked a debate in the state.

General Musharraf, while addressing a gathering in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir had urged India to make "sincere efforts" for a solution to the Kashmir issue and proposed these options.

The Centre and the state government strongly rejected the proposals.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad himself categorically rejected the formula saying any such move may dilute the sovereignty and integrity of India in Jammu and Kashmir, and would be unacceptable.

The president of Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party Prof Bhim Singh has described Pakistan's proposals as a gimmick to exploit and lure innocent male Kashmiris into terrorism in the name of Azadi, liberation and now self-rule.

He challenged General Musharraf to restore self-rule in PoK and withdraw the Pakistan Army from the area to prove his sincerity to self-rule.

All the factions of the Panun Kashmir also rejected the ideas of 'self-rule' and demilitarisation.

Dr Agnishekhar, Panun Kashmir leader, expressed serious concern over the statements of the moderate Hurriyat leader Miwaiz Umer Farooq supporting the proposals.

Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Forum president Bhushan Bajaj and Omkar Nath Trishal, the president of All-Kashmir Pandit Solidarity Conference also strongly rejected the proposal of self-rule and demilitarisation proposals.

Janata Party president and former Union minister Dr Subramanium Swami also voiced his strong opposition.

Talking to UNI, the convenor of Swadeshi Swabhiman Andolan K N Govindacharya also rejected self-rule and demilitarisation in Kashmir as a solution to the problem.

He criticised the former external affairs minister Jaswant Singh's statement suggesting a slow process on demilitarisation.

Some intellectuals view the proposals from the army ruler as unfortunate and fabricated.

Jammu and Kashmir is ruled by its people for the people and it means the self-rule concept already exists in the state and the military is only for protecting the border and Line of Control.

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