Ease travel restrictions across LoC, urges Mirwaiz
3 January 2006
The Daily Times
Muzaffarabad: Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, the chairman of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, has reiterated that Pakistan and India must ease travel restrictions across the Line of Control (LoC) dividing Kashmir. The Kashmiri leader made the demand at a luncheon meeting with the prime minister of Azad Kashmir, Sikandar Hayat Khan, in Muzaffarabad on Tuesday.He said Kashmiris will never accept the LoC as a permanent border because it separates people. 'Kashmiris on both sides are against this,'he said. Khan said that besides taking relief goods across the LoC, people from both sides of Kashmir should also be allowed to meet one another. Five open crossings at the LoC were insufficient, he added. Earlier, Farooq and senior APHC leaders Prof Abdul Ghani Bhat and Bilal Ghani Lone visited quake-hit Azad Kashmir in a show of solidarity with survivors. They toured camps for some of the 3.5 million people left homeless by the October 8 quake near Muzaffarabad.'We are here to express our solidarity with the devastated people of this Kashmir across the Line of Control,' Farooq told reporters. 'We cannot do much for them but at least can show them that our hearts are beating on the same track.' The APHC leaders arrived in Lahore on Monday night. They are due to meet with Pakistan's president and prime minister to discuss helping quake victims and the continuing peace process between India and Pakistan before they return to Indian-held Kashmir on January 5.