M A I N   N E W S

Curb flow of funds for terror, says PoK ex-PM
Prashant Sood
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 20
Emphasising the importance of interim steps in finding a long-term solution to the Kashmir problem, a former Prime Minister of Occupied Kashmir (PoK), Sardar Mohammad Abdul Qayyum Khan, today suggested creating demilitarised zones on both sides of the LoC and taking steps to putting an end to flow of funds for subversive activities in both India and Pakistan.

Speaking at the “intra Jammu and Kashmir Heart-to-Heart talks” here today, Mr Qayyum endorsed the suggestion of softer borders between India and Pakistan but expressed his reservations over the idea of converting the LoC into a border.

Mr Qayyum, who earlier inaugurated the talks organised by the Indian Council of World Affairs and Coordination Committee of Jammu and Kashmir Leaders and Intellectuals, said Kashmiris from both sides of LoC can meet in a demilitarised zone.

He said the meetings between leaders of Kashmir and their meetings with governments of India and Pakistan had shown that “bilateralism had failed.” Mr Qayyum said India and Pakistan should not be oblivious of the vested interests in both countries and in the global arena that was against restoration of peace. “A huge business (of arms) takes place on Kashmir. The two countries should not overlook the vested interests,” he said.

Mr Qayyum said enemity between India and Pakistan that started after partition had not receded till the recent past. “There has been training and indoctrination to cause subversion in each other’s country. It is difficult to stop such activities by the push of a button but the two governments should help curb flow of funds,” he said.

Supporting the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service, Mr Qayyum, who is the top leader of All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference and has played a major role in occupied Kashmir politics in the last five decades, said that permanent the solution to Kashmir problem was not in sight and added that interim steps were important. He said India could “study” the structure of administration on the other side of Kashmir and replicate it.

Laying stress on Kashmiris forming “collective opinion,” Mr Qayyum, said the state government in Jammu and Kashmir should also be consulted. He favoured the idea of Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister going to Pakistan. Mr Qayyum said all sides must come down from their stated positions. He said LoC cannot be made into a border as it was linked to issues of Pakistan’s defence and economy. “It is also linked to those who are running the movement,” he said.

Appreciating calls for an end of violence, he said something had to be given in return. He said Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf “can go far” in arriving at a solution to the Kashmir issue. Mr Qayyum said that talks should be kept at a low profile in the beginning so that undue expectations were not raised.

The talks, moderated by Jammu and Kashmir Panthers Party chief Bhim Singh, saw former All-Party Hurriyat Conference chief Abdul Ghani Bhat sharing the stage with former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah.

Mr Sajjad Lone, who heads a faction of Jammu and Kashmir People’s party, was also present.

Nearly 20 political leaders including those of Pakistan People’s Party, Jammu and Kashmir National Awami Party, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front besides mediapersons and peace activists from PoK participated in the deliberations which will continue tomorrow.

Mr Bhim Singh said suggestions would be made to both governments of India and Pakistan at the end of the talks tomorrow. A round of such talks was earlier held in Jammu.

Earlier, in his remarks Mr Farooq Abdullah said it was the first time such talks were being held in the national capital. Tracing the genesis of the Kashmir problem, he said Pakistan did not talk of plebiscite in J&K till 1953 as it was afraid of people voting for India. “However, later as people of Kashmir started getting antagonised from New Delhi due to its policies, the Pakistan government started talking of plebicite.”

Opposing creation of new boundaries, he said it could cause more bloodshed. He also emphasised checking vested interests that were against restoration of peace in the state.


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