Mufti Advises Hurriyat To Stay Within PoK
27 May 2005
The Indian Express
New Delhi: After the Central government, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed also advised Hurriyat Conference leaders today not to travel beyond Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) when they undertake a journey by the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus across the Line of Control (LOC). Travel by Hurriyat leaders beyond PoK on permit would be discriminatory and not be in the spirit of the Indo-Pak agreement under which the bus service was launched,' Sayeed said. 'Under the permit system, ordinary residents of Jammu and Kashmir can travel only to PoK. How can they (Hurriyat) be allowed to go beyond? This will be discrimination between ordinary people and them (Hurriyat leaders),' he told reporters here. Noting that the separatist leaders' travel outside PoK without passport and visa would create a precedent, he asked them to stick to the conditions under which the bus service was launched. Under the Indo-Pak agreement for the launch of bus service, any permanent resident of Jammu and Kashmir can travel only between two parts of the undivided state on a permit. Travel beyond PoK would require a passport and visa. The Chief Minister, however, hoped this would not be an impediment in the travel plans of the Hurriyat and the matter would be resolved amicably. He said the Hurriyat faction led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has been saying that they wanted to go across the LOC to hold talks with militant leaders and try for a ceasefire. 'I hope they succeed in their attempt,' he said, adding it would be in the benefit of the state.