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Entire J&K is disputed: Separatists to Antony
SRIANAGAR, Aug 14: In a strong response to union defence minister A K Antony’s statement, both factions of the Hurriyat Conference today said the entire Jammu and Kashmir including Pakistan Administered Kashmir (PAK) is a disputed region.

Antony, while speaking in the parliament yesterday, said Pakistan was yet to vacate parts of Jammu and Kashmir it had occupied illegally and forcibly.

"A part of the territory of the state (Jammu and Kashmir) is under illegal and forcible occupation of Pakistan. The issue that remains to be resolved is the vacation by Pakistan of the area under its illegal occupation," the defence minister said.

Describing Antony as a “frustrated dictator”, the chairman Hurriyat Conference (G), Syed Ali Shah Geelani, said his statement revealed that all democratic claims made by New Delhi are baseless.

“…The country is actually a despotic state that believes in forcible suppression of other nations,” he said.

The 82-year-old, however, gave a clean chit to Pakistan on the issue of occupying Kashmir. Pakistan, he said, has always favoured the implementation of UN resolutions on Kashmir.

“While New Delhi has occupied Kashmir against the will of the people, same cannot be said about Pakistan because the country (Pakistan) has always supported implementation of UN resolutions,” he said.

He, however, maintained that the entire Jammu and Kashmir was a disputed region needing amicable resolution.

The chairman Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, also criticized Antony for his PAK remarks.

Addressing a gathering at Zind Shah Masjid Rainawari, he said the Jammu and Kashmir was a dispute-to-be-resolved and that delay in the resolution was threat to peace and stability in the region.

“As per the August 14, 1947 status of the state, the entire Jammu and Kashmir issue is a dispute and it is to be resolved. The delay in the resolution will affect peace and stability in the region and also the friendly relations between India and Pakistan,” he said.

Mirwaiz, who is the chief religious cleric of Kashmir, accused New Delhi of dual play.

“On one side New Delhi is talking about resolving all issued with Pakistan, and on the other hand the Indian ministers give baseless statements,” he said.

The Indo-Pak dialogue, which was restarted recently, has been a matter of debate in Kashmir. Most mainstream parties and a few separatist groups have been optimistic about the outcome of the meetings while most separatist groups see it as a hopeless exercise.

Antony’s statement has, however, seems to have added a new chapter to it.

News Updated at : Tuesday, August 14, 2012
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