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Withdraw army from J&K: Mirwaiz

Source: PTI
February 01, 2007 20:06 IST
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Moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq on Thursday warned militants against disrupting the peace process between India and Pakistan and said that these elements were scared their shop will be closed if Kashmir issue was resolved.

Addressing supporters of his National Awami Party in Srinagar after returning from Pakistan, Farooq warned his critics against selling 'sentiments of Kashmiris in international markets.'

Referring to the grenade attacks on Hurriyat Conference office in Srinagar late Wednesday night, the Mirwaiz said: "It was the handiwork of elements that are against the peace process between India and Pakistan. These attacks, which are aimed at scaring us, will do no good to the Kashmir issue."

Farooq, who remarks in Pakistan about futility of violence in Jammu and Kashmir antagonized the extremist groups, said the Hurriyat would not be cowed down by such 'attacks by vested interests, which will only made the Hurriyat's resolve stronger to bring peace in Jammu and Kashmir.'

The Mirwaiz sought the withdrawal of security forces from Jammu and Kashmir, making the borders between India and Pakistan irrelevant and an end to human rights violations for resolving the Kashmir issue.

"Hurriyat Conference supports the dialogue process for resolution of Kashmir issue. There is a need for stage-wise progress in the process and the first step would be to withdraw all army and paramilitary troops from the state," he said.
There should be a change in the ground situation so that progress in the peace process and resolution of Kashmir issue become perceptible among the people, the Mirwaiz said, adding that though the Hurriyat wanted to continue its dialogue process with India and Pakistan, the time had come to make the borders irrelevant.

"The world is moving towards a system where borders have become irrelevant. Kashmiris should have the right to travel across the Line of Control from either side without passports or any travel documents," he said, adding that his amalgam supports the proposals of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf in this regard.

Describing his Pakistan visit as 'very successful,' the Mirwaiz claimed that the efforts of the Hurriyat Conference for resolution of the Kashmir issue have the backing of the government and the people of Pakistan, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and the Muslim world.
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