NC calls demolition of LoC

NC calls demolition of LoC

Hameed Shaheen

ISLAMABAD: For the first time the Sheikh Abdullah political legacy building party the J&K National Conference, terming the existing Line of Control (LoC) as Berlin Wall being looked after militarily both by Pakistan and India under 1973 Simla Agreement (rejected by Kashmiris), has called for its (LoC) demolition to pave way for \”the final settlement of the Kashmir dispute\”. The call was made late Friday by Sh Mustafa Kamaal, spokesperson/Addl Secretetary General of National Conference in a party convention at his Nawai Subh Office in Srinagar, reports said.

\”The final solution to the Kashmir dispute lies in Indo-Pak friendship as Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah too used to advocate it as a means for its resolution,\” Kamaal is quoted to have said this, urging Pakistani and Indian leaderships to open all the traditional routes of travel and trade between the two parts of Jammu and Kashmir along LoC. He also demanded restoration of pre-1952 position of the State, a reference to the revival of offices of President and Prime Ministers in IHK and intra-Kashmir travels only on both side’s Deputy Commissioners issued travel chits. Majority of Kashmiris firmly believe their ongoing woes and wailings are due to the 1947 jerky role of Sh Abdullah.

In the UN Kashmir resolutions there is no restriction on intra-Kashmir travels for Kashmiris of both parts – AJK and IHK.

Neither any Kashmiri political group of AJK nor AJK Government itself have ventilated as yet their rejection/reaction to NC’s latest call. Currently under agreements between Pakistan and India, intra-Kashmir trade and travel are operative since October 22, 2008 on two oldest routes – Muzaffarabad-Srinagar highway via Chakothi and Poonch-Rawalakot road via Chakkada Bagh point respectively.

The latest development is that both countries have reportedly agreed to induct banking role in the ongoping Kashmir barter trade on the repeated demands of the traders of both sides. The trade opening has given the biggest economic boost to the occupied Kashmir traders as their only shortest commercial regional outlet is via Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road, lending access to Pakistan’s markets even beyoned through Gowadar and Karachi Port Qasim.

Pakistan’s readiness to accord Most Favored Nation (MFN) trade status to India is also bound to leave major impact on intra-Kashmir barter trade with possible added facilitations. However, the United Jehad Council of Kashmiri groups has rejected likely MFN status to India.

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