Shah Calls For Unity Among Separatist Groups
17 January 2003
The Times of India
Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party chief Shabir Ahmad Shah on Friday called for unity among the separatist groups in the state in the interest of their common cause. Addressing a public rally at Bandipora in Baramulla district in north Kashmir, he said, 'our struggle is at a critical juncture' and asked all separatist groups in the state to assemble on a common platform. Shah said though he tried to unite the people of the state by undertaking a journey from Jammu, the city of temples, to Ladakh, his efforts did not meet much success. Justifying his talks with K C Pant and other leaders, he said it was necessary to talk to them as 'the world was under the impression that we were not ready for a dialogue process, which we have proved wrong by now.' Describing Pakistan as 'a basic party to Kashmir issue', Shah said any dialogue process is incomplete without the participation of Pakistan and representatives of Kashmiris.