Indian MP calls for accepting LoC as border
31 December 2004
The News International
Islamabad: Muslim leader and member of the Indian Parliament Shahid Siddiqi has warned against religion-based split of Kashmir and feared it might lead to mass migration of 180 million Indian Muslims towards Pakistan. Siddiqi, member of Samaj Wadi Party, led by Maliam Singh Yadev, also urged Islamabad to accept LoC as permanent border to ensure their safety and prosperity. Siddiqi, who is widely respected both within Muslim and Hindu political and social circles in India, remained in jail under draconian law TADA. Talking to Pakistani journalists at his residence in New Delhi recently, he pointed out that Islamabad had always preferred 6 million Kashmiris over 180 million Indian Muslims. He said in case of division of Kashmir on religious basis, Pakistan should be ready to open its borders on Indian Muslims. Siddiqi, who visited Pakistan on a number of occasions in the past, predicted that new generation of Indian Muslims would finally emerge and lead Muslim world as they were really on path of progress, modernity and education. Siddiqi said it was wrong to assume that all Kashmiris wanted freedom from 'Indian rule' as only 20 percent Muslims there were in favour of freedom while 40 percent still wanted to stay in the fold of India and 40 percent were confused on the issue. He criticised the Indian government for committing highhandedness with the people of Kashmir and condemned their brutalities and human rights abuses. He alleged that Pakistan succeeded in fuelling the armed movement in valley only because of the wrong policies of New Delhi. Otherwise, he said the same Kashmiris in 1965 had played an important role in frustrating Pakistani army efforts to capture Kashmir and they had handed over Pakistani commandoes to Indian forces. He said Indian leadership committed repeated blunders in Kashmir and today every body was facing the music of such faulty policies. Replying to a question, he said best solution of Kashmir was that Pakistan should accept Line of Control as permanent border; otherwise, Indian Muslims would face the brunt.