Call For Demilitarisation On Both Sides Of LoC
3 August 2005
Srinagar: Maintaining that people on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) were confused over the prevailing situation, Justice Abdul Majid Malik, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan- occupied Kashmir, on Wednesday demanded demilitarisation in both parts of Kashmir to 'free' the atmosphere for electing 'real representatives'. 'It is necessary to withdraw the Armies on both sides of the State to allow people to elect their representatives without any coercion or pressure,' Justice Malik told The Hindu in an exclusive interview here. 'I am sure that there is no real representation of people because there are many ideologies,' he said, adding that leadership should not be thrust on the people neither by India nor Pakistan. He said the leadership should emerge from the people and only those who cared for the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir could represent them. Soon after his arrival in Jammu last week, Justice Malik had said the Hurriyat Conference was not representing the people of all the regions of the State. On the peace process between India and Pakistan he said, 'in fact the dialogue on Kashmir is on since 1947 but it never was a success'. This time, he said, the process appeared to be going in the right direction as people-to-people contact has become its important component. 'This time the world situation is changing and all those people who push India and Pakistan towards the dialogue have their own interests in the region'. Justice Malik who is also the chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation League said people- to-people contacts should be strengthened. 'I had been denied visa three times in the past but the changing atmosphere has helped us to come here.' Justice Malik who was here to take part in the first intra-Kashmir dialogue said he was pained to see security forces everywhere. 'This situation should end as people are facing a lot of problems.' Architect of the landmark judgment as Chief Justice of PoK in which he pronounced that the Northern Areas of Gilgit and Baltistan were not part of Pakistan, Justice Malik was deeply moved by the reception accorded to the delegation of 13 members he was leading in Jammu. He said 'I never expected such a reception. It was a pleasant surprise.'