‘Demilitarisation, self-rule positive proposals’
10 January 2006
The News International
New Delhi: Billing suggestions of self-rule and demilitarisation as positive, APHC Executive Member Bilal Lone has said the Hurriyat Conference is expected to take up these suggestions in the next round of talks with the Indian government. Lone, who was part of the Mirwaiz Umar Farooq- led three-member Hurriyat delegation that recently returned from a visit to Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir has said that the suggestions made by the Pakistani leadership on self-rule and demilitarisation are 'positive' and had the potential to improve the ground situation in Indian occupied Kashmir. 'It (demilitarisation) can be started slowly. If the outcome is satisfactory, the two sides can decide to proceed further', he added according to a news report carried by Indian media. Violence should end in Indian Held Kashmir from all sides, he added. He was of the firm view that the suggestions of self-rule and demilitarisation should be discussed widely. The Indian government should not look at situation in IOC only from the viewpoint of what it calls cross-border militancy but accept it as a problem, which needs to be tackled sincerely. 'Rather than going for time-consuming processes, it is the time to take the bull by the horns. Everybody should play its part,' observed Lone continuing, the Indian government had not fulfilled promises made to the Hurriyat Conference during the first round of talks in Sept. Lone said the APHC should be consulted in taking decisions on release of prisoners. He expressed the hope that the government would do more to address concerns on human rights violations and custodial killings in Held Kashmir. Lone said the Hurriyat Conference led by the Mirwaiz had come forward for talks despite opposition from the hardliners. 'But talks can be meaningful only if there is a change in ground situation,' he added.