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Only a few routes on LoC can be opened: Centre
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 19
Dismissing apprehensions in some quarters that the opening of the Line of Control (LoC) for earthquake relief would boost infiltration of Pakistan-based militants in Jammu and Kashmir, the Centre today said it was not averse to opening of one or two points along the LoC for extending relief materials to quake-affected people in PoK.

“It is not that the entire LoC will be thrown open. Only a few routes will be opened which will be sufficient for sending help to earthquake victims. Opening of the LoC is needed to provide succour to the people in PoK,” Dr D.K. Sankaran, Secretary (Border Management) in the Union Home Ministry, who is looking after the relief operations for J and K quake victims, said.

He, however, stated that no formal decision in this regard had been taken and that any decision would come through only after the Ministry of External Affairs gave the nod and all security constraints were addressed.

Lt-Gen Madan Gopal, Director-General Military Operations, who was also present at the press conference, also discounted security apprehensions, saying that there would be no let-up in security.

Dr Sankaran and Lt-Gen Gopal refused to comment on Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s statement that the LoC should be made a soft border. “We do not really know what has been proposed by him (Gen Musharraf) and what he means by soft border...Moreover, it is a subject matter to be dealt with by the Ministry of External Affairs,” Lt-Gen Gopal said.

Asked which were the places where the government could consider opening routes across the LoC for relief operations, Lt-Gen Gopal said “in Rajouri and Poonch areas”.

Meanwhile, to meet the shortage of artic tents, the Centre has decided to import about 12,000 tents from Alaska and China.

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