Kashmiris want LOC to disappear: Mirwaiz
28 October 2005
New Delhi: Thousands of Kashmiris massed at a special congregation in Srinagar on Friday and called for the removal of the Line of Control. “We want to remind Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh of what he himself promised us when we met him recently,” Mirwaiz Umar Farooq told Dawn from Srinagar. He was quoting from his address at the Jama Masjid on Friday, which was observed as Al Quds Day and Kashmir Day across the region. According to the Mirwaiz, Dr Singh had told an All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) delegation he had led last month that India wanted to remove the psychological distance between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad by easing the curbs on movement of the divided people between the sides of the LOC. “We too want the ceasefire line to become irrelevant,” the Mirwaiz said. The demand to ease the curbs along the LoC coincided with the arrival of Indian officials in Islamabad for talks on the issue. The Mirwaiz said Kashmiris had also taken a decision not to celebrate Eid this year with its traditional festivities because of the grief writ all over their homeland. “We will perform the religious obligations but not celebrate Eid with the usual fervour,” the Mirwaiz said. He said chances of unity of the various factions of the APHC had brightened after three associates of hardline breakaway leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani showed up at the Friday congregation addressed by the Mirwaiz. Those who formally joined the APHC, or returned to their original group, include Ghulam Mohammad Hubbi of the People’s Conference, Naeem Khan of National Front and Agha Hasan of a Shia group.