‘Guru`s execution can derail Indo-Pak peace talks`

Last Updated: Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - 12:29

Srinagar: Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru should not be executed as such a move has the potential to derail the Indo-Pak peace process, a senior politician of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) Wednesday said.

"Afzal Guru should not be hanged. It can lead to deterioration in the situation," so-called former Prime Minister of PoK Sultan Mehmood Chaudhury told reporters before winding up his three-day visit to Kashmir.

He said India should not take any step that leads to tension in the region.

Chaudhury, who was here to attend the wedding of the son of his industrialist friend, said New Delhi and Islamabad should take steps that will lead to reconciliation and create an atmosphere conducive for resolution of Kashmir issue.

"The Kashmiri leadership on both sides should be allowed to meet through intra-Kashmir conferences. To begin with, the travel across Line of Control should be made hassle free and
the permit system abolished," he said.

Chaudhary, who became the highest ranking PoK official -- serving or retired -- to visit Kashmir since 1947, said while it might take time to completely abolish the permit system, the two countries can agree to grant permits to Kashmiris on either side on arrival at LoC.

Welcoming the Indo-Pak dialogue process, he said, "We have no objection to India-Pakistan friendship but if the dialogue process has to be successful and result-oriented, the
Kashmiri leadership has to be included in it".

Chaudhary said Kashmir is the "core issue" between India and Pakistan while other outstanding issue were mere "irritants" which will fall in place once the resolution to Kashmir issue reached at.

He said he met the entire leadership of Kashmir during his short stay and was "taking a positive message back home".

Asked if he recognised mainstream politicians like Chief Minister Omar Abdullah as elected representatives of the people of Kashmir, Chaudhary replied: "To that my short answer
will be no".

The PoK leader also said the strife in Afghanistan cannot end and regional peace shall remain elusive unless Kashmir issue is resolved.

PTI




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