LoC trade stalemate evokes mixed reactions

SRINAGAR: The standoff on LoC following seizure of narcotics from a truck Pakistan controlled Kashmir (PcK) evoked mixed reactions with some separatists calling for a thorough inquiry into the incident.

“The way this incident is being projected, it can be a conspiracy because there is a war going on here between the agencies of the two countries. If some person is involved in this trade, he should be taken to task but blaming Pakistan as a state for pumping in narcotics for Kashmir youth is ridiculous,” Shabir Shah, chairman of newly formed Hurriyat Conference Jammu and Kashmir said.

Shah demanded that there should be a full-fledged independent inquiry into the incident particularly through United Nations Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) looking after the LoC. “Facts need to be brought to fore. And for that you cannot rely on one sided inquiry. There should be an independent probe into this incident,” Shah said.

Ayaz Akbar, spokesman of the Hurriyat Conference (G) said that Cross LoC trade was a non issue for the amalgam. “We have already opposed the Cross LoC trade as we believe that this symbolic initiative was taken to damage the Kashmir cause.  So when Cross LoC trade is itself a non issue for us, incidents this hardly deserve any reaction,” Akbar said.

Chairman Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Mohammad Yasin Malik, said that unless the basic issue of Kashmir was resolved these incidents were bound to happen. “These cosmetic measures (trade across LoC) are bound to witness such incidents because these measures lack transparency. Unless the Kashmir issue is resolved permanently, these incidents will continue to happen,” Malik said.

President, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Mehbooba Mufti, observed that a single incident of seizure of   narcotics should not impede the Cross LoC trade as lot of efforts have been put in to facilitate this initiative. “With a single incident everything seems to have come to a standstill. Government of India should take this matter with the authorities in Pakistan besides taking up the issue of safety of our drivers who are stuck on the other side of the LoC. I know efforts are being made to derail this confidence building measure between the two countries but PDP will never allow that to happen,” she said.

National Conference leader and Member Parliament Mehboob Beig echoed the opinion of JKLF stressing  on the need to address the basic issue. “These incidents are the symptoms of Kashmir problem and the symptomatic treatment is ok but you will to address the basic disease,” he said.

Beig said that in all these years of conflict, a vested interest has developed among the groups and elements across the board and across the borders to keep the hostilities between India and Pakistan alive. “And in such a situation, I think there should be a strong political will to break that nexus,” Beig said adding that it was unlikely to happen soon as the country was nearing Lok Sabha elections and Pakistan had its own problems to address.

“In such circumstances, Kashmir will again go to backburner. It also needs a statesman like Atal Behari Vajpayee and a person like Parvez Musharaf who had to some extent succeeded to making a breakthrough on Kashmir,” the NC senior leader added.

He however, ridiculed the opinion that the huge consignment of narcotics seized by police was sponsored by the Pakistani state.  “In today’s high tech world, no country can imagine to pump in narcotics or other contraband into other country. You see the cameras are always on our heads besides that there is huge scrutiny available on such routes. So in such an advanced stage of security and transparency I don’t think Pakistan would like to get itself exposed by sending narcotics that too through this highly scanned road,” he opined.

Senior Congress and leader and minister Taj Mohi-u-Din said: “No country will allow narcotics to come in. We have strict laws for that. Leaving aside the sentiment, I think if Pakistan has send these drugs to spoil our youth, then let it be clear to them that we don’t need that kind of a Pakistan. Our youth are already over stressed and facilitating availability of narcotics means that country is hell-bent to destroy our future,” he added.  “This incident should be inquired thoroughly and it should be ensured that for whom this drug consignment was on its way,” Taj demanded. (KNS)

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