September 12, 2001,
The two political stalwarts, Syed Mir Qasim, a former Chief Minister, and Prof Abdul Gani Bhat, Chairman of the APHC, have a “solution” for the vexed Kashmir problem, but are not eager to tell it to the Press or to the public.
Hizbul company commander shot
Bhat, too, has formula on J&K
Jammu, September 11
Mr Qasim has said he will make known his solution or formula if he finds both India and Pakistan sincere in resolving the dispute. He said in a recent interview to a Pakistani newspaper, The News, that he had a formula for settling the Kashmir issue and he would disclose it only “when I find Pakistan and India sincere in resolving the problem.”
Prof Bhat told Tribune News Service that he had a couple of options in his mind which could lead to the permanent resolution of the Kashmir imbroglio. Like Mr Qasim he, too, was not ready to disclose them yet.
He said he would like to discuss the solution first with Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and President Pervez Musharraf. He had written letters to Mr Vajpayee and President Musharraf seeking an audience in this connection.
Prof Bhat said Mr Vajpayee had so far not responded. President Musharraf had agreed to meet Hurriyat leaders in New Delhi prior to the Agra summit. Asked whether he disclosed his formula to President Musharraf, the APHC Chairman said: “I did not. I want to discuss it with the heads of both governments. Discussing the solution with only one party will not serve the purpose.”
At the same time, he made it clear that grant of greater autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir or trifurcation of the state or conversion of the LoC into a permanent border even with major border readjustments were not going to solve the issue.
Syed Qasim had, however, said conversion of the LoC into “international border with small changes could be the best solution to the Kashmir problem.”
While he claimed that the Kashmir problem would be solved within the next two years, though the present situation no more “favours India,” Prof Bhat was pessimistic that unless President, Musharraf and Mr Vajpayee adopted sincere measures and opted for tripartite talks, the problem might linger on.
Both these political stalwards held the successive state and central governments for a situation which forced the Kashmiri youth to take to the gun. They cited “rigged” elections as the first major provocation.
Mr Qasim claimed that the people of Kashmir were not allowed to taste the fruits of Indian democracy. Both of them believed that Mr Vajpayee and President Musharraf had the “capacity and capability” to resolve the issue.
While Mr Qasim has not made any comment on the proposed Vajpayee-Musharraf talks in New York, Prof Bhat said the meeting could be an important chapter in the process of settlement of the issue. However, he wanted Mr Vajpayee and President Musharraf to take note of the ground realities.
“The two have to find a way out. I have an impression that they are determined to resolve the problem,” he said.
Hizbul company commander shot
Srinagar, September 11
The grenades — fired from an unidentified location at about 11.30 a.m. — exploded at a distance without causing damage. Two unexploded grenades were recovered in the vicinity and defused.
Security forces personnel shot dead Javid Ahmad Lone, alias Imran of the Hizb at Arin Bandipora in north Kashmir late last night and recovered an AK rifle, one magazine, a wireless set, three grenades and one grenade launcher.
Panic gripped the busy Jehangir Chowk here this afternoon when three passersby and a traffic police constable were injured after militants hurled a grenade on a vehicle belonging to the security forces.
Militants gunned down Mohammad Shafi Bhat at Soibugh in the central Kashmir district of Badgam today.
Two Kashmiri youths were nabbed at Hanga Handwara while trying to cross over to the occupied Kashmir for receiving weapons training. A militant of the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba was arrested at Ganderbal last evening.
A Baramula report said that Kupwara town and its adjoining areas observed a shutdown in protest against the death of two civilians in alleged retaliatory firing by the security forces on September 9. Shops and other business establishments remained closed and traffic was off the roads.
JAMMU: Militants triggered two powerful improvised explosive devices (IEDs) on the outskirts of Rajouri town, 177 km from here, on Tuesday. A bridge, was damaged in the blast, official sources said.
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