January 2001 News

Benazir ready to accept LoC as international boundary

27 January 2001
The Pioneer

Dubai: In a significant turnaround, former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has said she was willing to accept the Line of Control (LoC) as international boundary between Indian and Pakistan, if that is what the Hurriyat Conference, an umbrella body of Kashmiri separatists groups, wants. However, such a move would trigger off a backlash from armed militants who are waging a 'Jihad' (holy war) in Kashmir, the Pakistan People's Party supremo told Dubai-based Gulf news in an exclusive interview in London, published on Saturday. 'There are some who tell me that the LoC should be made an international boundary and if that is what the all party Hurriyat Conference wants, I may not like it but I will accept it because at the end we have to go with the Kashmiris', she said. 'However, I think there will be a backlash against that because we still have people who are armed, who have been fighting the Jihad and there would be a reaction against it', Bhutto said. She said her party had proposed 'soft borders' to enable people travel across without prejudice to the UN Security Council resolutions and without making the LoC an international boundary, but added that she will go by the Hurriyat decision. 'Let us begin with participatory democracy' in the Kashmir Valley, she said, adding 'we have participatory democracy to a certain degree in our own part (PoK) although it is very much under the control of the Centre'.


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