India says readies political solution, unheard by Kashmiris

Farooq said that the Kashmir dispute can only be resolved through tripartite talks including Pakistan, India and the real Kashmiri leadership.

India says readies political solution, unheard by Kashmiris

India said on Thursday the contours of a political solution to months of protests in disputed Kashmir were likely in a few months, but Kashmiris said they had not heard about any such move.

More than 100 people have been killed by police fire in the protests, which broke out in June.

The protests started on June 11 when a 17-year-old student died after being hit by a tear gas shell fired by police during a protest in Srinagar, Indian Kashmir's summer capital.

The deaths, mostly by fire of government forces during protests, fuelled anger in Kashmir where sentiment against New Delhi's rule runs deep.

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(Kashmiri demonstrators hold banner during protest on eve of International Human Rights Day in Srinagar.)

India announced an 8-point confidence building measure in September that helped quieten the protests.

It scaled back security in the region, formed a panel to talk to a cross section of Kashmiris, gave compensation to the families of dead protesters and promised to review the scope for limiting a much-hated law that gives the military sweeping powers to search, arrest or shoot.

"Contours of a political solution to the Kashmir problem are likely to emerge in the next few months," a government statement quoted Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram as saying after a meeting on Kashmir.

"The home minister asserted that the Kashmir issue is a political issue for which a political solution must be found."

The government statement quoted Chidambaram as saying a proposal to amend the law was being considered, adding government-appointed panel for talks was "making good progress".

"Unheard solution"


But Kashmir's main pro-independence alliance leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said they had not been kept in the loop about any solution to the crisis.

"Let us see what they come up with, but for a permanent solution, New Delhi will have to engage the popular sentiment of Kashmir which is independence," he told Reuters.

Farooq said that the Kashmir dispute can only be resolved through tripartite talks including Pakistan, India and the real Kashmiri leadership.

Kashmir is claimed in full by both India and Pakistan but they rule it in part. They have twice gone to war over the Himalayan region which remains at the core of their dispute.

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(Kashmiri relatives of missing persons say more than 8,000 people have gone missing, most of them after being arrested by Indian security forces in the Kashmir region since 1989.) 

This is why any lasting peace in the region is unlikely without the involvement of Pakistan.

Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, one of the biggest Kashmiri group based out of Pakistan, told Reuters in Rawalpindi they had little faith in the Indian government's promises, and would carry on the fight against Indians troops in Kashmir.

"If we see India is displaying sincerity and seriousness with regard to the ultimate resolution of the Kashmir issue, we will shun our guns ourselves. At this time, we have no faith. we have no trust. We have been deceived time and again," group commander Syed Salahuddin said.

Tens of thousands of Muslims have been killed since pro-independent moves grew against Indian rule in 1989.

In 1948, the United Nations adopted a resolution calling for a referendum for Kashmir to determine whether the Himalayan region should be part of India and Pakistan. But India has rejected to hold referendum in Kashmiri territory.

Indian security forces have been accused in the past of human rights violations, including rape and extrajudicial killings.

Kashmiri groups and parties have long demanded the withdrawal of Indian troops and scrapping of "anti-terrorism" laws, including the Armed Forces Special Powers Act that gives sweeping powers to security forces in Kashmir, where about 500,000 troops are stationed.


Agencies

Last Mod: 10 Aralık 2010, 11:38
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