Friday, November 30, 2001, Chandigarh, India





National Capital Region--Delhi

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J A M M U   &   K A S H M I R

Non-Kashmiri ultras are terrorists: Benazir

Srinagar, November 29
Former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has termed as “terrorists” all non-Kashmiri militants fighting in Jammu and Kashmir.

In an interview to a local English daily “Greater Kashmir”, she was unequivocal in her opinion that, “non-Kashmiri militants are not freedom fighters” and that the APHC were the real spokesman of the movement.

Asked by the New Delhi-based correspondent on the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) stand on the Kashmir issue, she reiterated, “We believe that people of Kashmir should be given the right of self-determination. They should choose their own future. We recognise the APHC as the genuine voice of the Kashmiri people. We oppose groups like Lashkar-e-Toiba which are trying to hijack the Kashmir movement.”

Replying to another question, Ms Bhutto denied that all issues, including the Kashmir issue, if discussed with India would prolong resolution of the decade-old problem, saying that, “No this will not. We talked other issues in Shimla and with Rajiv Gandhi. We certainly want to avoid conflicts like Kargil. We do not want it to turn into a nuclear war.”


 

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Admitting that she was emerging as the sole option in domestic politics, Ms Bhutto thanked the Pakistani people for standing by her through thick and thin as they had done in the past. Asked as to her reaction whether rival politician Nawaz Sharif should be brought back, she retorted, “Ask him whether he wants to do politics or not.

She expressed confidence that elections would be held as promised by President Musharraf and hoped that the coming elections would be “fair and not rigged as was done in the elections of 1990 and 1997.” Her party had proposed a set of measures to the Pakistan Government to ensure fair polls, she said. UNI

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