Identify peace zone in J&K and withdraw troops: Tarigami
4 November 2004
The Daily Excelsior
Daily Excelsior Correspondent
Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir CPI(M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami today reiterated his demand to identify the 'peace zone' within the troubled State and urged the Centre to order withdrawal of troops from those areas. 'The Centre should identify some areas as peace zone within the State so that the people are allowed to move freely. The Centre, on its part, should declare unilateral ceasefire and order withdrawal of troops from those areas,' Mr Tarigami said here. He said Pakistan could be persuaded to use its 'good offices' and influence the militants to refrain from violence in those areas. 'Militants have to be kept away from those areas.' He urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to announce unilateral ceasefire during his coming visit to Jammu and Kashmir. 'This would be a bonus for the people of the State in addition to the economic package and other sops he is likely to announce during his two-day visit,' he said. Mr Tarigami had met the Prime Minister at his 7, Race Course Road residence here on November one and put forth his demand. The CPI (M) leader said travelling across the Line of Control should be facilitated so that Kashmiris from both the sides are able to meet each other. Appreciating the Prime Minister, he said Dr Singh also agreed to his suggestion that visa and travel documents should not become a 'stumbling block' in the opening of the Srinagar- Muzafarrabad road. Mr Tarigami said he was given assurance by the Prime Minister that some mechanism would be evolved so that the road is opened at the earliest. He also urged the Prime Minister to make his coming Jammu and Kashmir visit 'more meaningful' by announcing economic and other packages which would go a long way in addressing the sufferings of the people in 'concrete terms'. Mr Tarigami said the Prime Minister told him that 'all of us should work together so that the past is not repeated.' Lauding the initiative taken by Dr Singh and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf in New York last month, the CPI(M) leader said the meeting between the two leaders aroused 'big hopes' in Jammu and Kashmir. 'This conveys coming out of the frozen mind-set by the Indian and Pakistani leadership,' he added. Mr Tarigami said the ongoing dialogue process must not only continue but should be made result oriented so that it does not become a 'zero-sum game'. 'One may not agree with President Musharraf’s proposal but he certainly has taken some bold initiatives. India needs to reciprocate his bold decisions,' he added. The CPI(M) leader called for a debate on Gen Musharraf’s proposals.