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Bring permanent truce in J&K: Pak

Source: PTI
September 28, 2006 01:49 IST
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Pakistan on Wednesday night suggested there should be a permanent ceasefire between Indian authorities and militant groups in Jammu and Kashmir.

Asked about Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin's remarks on the ceasefire, Tasneem Aslam, spokesperson of Pakistan Foreign Office, said, "That statement was made for Indian government. There should be ceasefire not just during Ramadan, but a long-term step to put an end to violence there."

Asked if Pakistan would used its good office to persuade the Hizbul Mujahideen to lay down arms, she said, "We do not encourage anyone to indulge in violence because violence makes life difficult for Kashmiris."

To a query if it was not Islamabad's responsibility to bring groups like Hizbul Mujahideen back on track, Aslam said, "Everyone needs to end violence, not just Kashmiri groups. Obviously in Kashmir, violence has been met with violence, which is very unfortunate."

When asked whether Hizbul Mujahideen, Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taybia come under the proposed Indo-Pak joint mechanism on anti-terrorism, she said, "JeM and LeT are banned organisations in Pakistan and we do not approve of any growth. In fact, we have always condemned terrorist acts."

Replying to another question, she said, "Yes, freedom struggle does not mean that people indulge in violence against civilians and innocent people. We have condemned that, but certainly we do not see everyone who has picked up a gun in Kashmir as a terrorist."

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