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Talks without peace in Kashmir futile: Zulqarnain

Shahnawaz Khan

The Hague, June 08, 2007:

India should withdraw troops from the cities and town to barracks in Indian administered Kashmir, as "a first gesture" to make the peace process meaningful, President of Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) Raja Zulqarnain said here today.

"While the peace process is going on one side, yet there is no let up in the persecution of Kashmiris in occupied Kashmir. The troops are absolutely encamped in the streets and cites of occupied Kashmir (Indian administered Kashmir), which is not compatible with the spirit of confidence building measures," Zulqarnain told Kashmir Newz.

"There have to be some gestures, easing the daily life of people in occupied Kashmir and I think withdrawing troops from cities, would be the first gesture" Zulqaranain said.

Earlier, this week Zulqarnain inaugurated a Kashmir EU Week in the European Parliament in Brussels and said that he was not hopeful about the peace process because of the "past experiences" with India.

Zulqaranain said that in spite of a "long over drawn peace process", which began after 2002, "nothing is in sight until now".

Asked about the statements of some Kashmiri leaders, that a solution to Kashmir issue was round the corner, Zulqaranain said, "May be my vision is a little blurred, but what I see is that unless there is peace in occupied Kashmir, talks would not be meaningful."

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