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Kashmir: Hardliner Geelani asks India, Pak to observe restraint along border

Warning that a flare-up at the border could lead to all-out war, the hardline Hurriyat leader asked both the countries to take steps towards establishing an environment of stability and tranquility in the subcontinent.

india Updated: Oct 03, 2017 19:47 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
Kashmir,Syed Ali Geelani,Hurriyat
Separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani has sought a complete halt to cross-border hostilities between India and Pakistan. (PTI File)

Hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani on Tuesday urged both India and Pakistan to observe restraint along the line of control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir, and avoid resorting to actions that could culminate in further loss to life and property.

Observing that a flare-up could culminate in full-fledged war, Geelani said: “None of us can afford the devastation and aftershock that follow a military conflict. It would be wise on the part of both countries to work towards establishing an environment of stability and tranquility in the subcontinent.”

The hardline Hurriyat leader also reminded all the parties concerned that they have more important priorities to attend to. “Millions of people in India, Pakistan and war-torn Kashmir are living below poverty line – in a state of constant uncertainty,” he said.

This appeal from Geelani follows months of disquiet on the India-Pakistan border in Jammu and Kashmir. On Monday alone, two children were killed and dozens injured in heavy shelling and gunfire by Pakistani troops in Poonch district. On the other hand, five militants trying to infiltrate into India from the neighbouring country were killed by Indian troops in Baramulla and Kupwara districts.

Geelani said the cross-border skirmishes between India and Pakistan along the LoC have resulted in extensive collateral damage. “The international community should take effective diplomatic steps to find a final and lasting solution to the Kashmir issue,” he added.

The 88-year-old separatist leader claimed that India’s handling of the matter raises major humanitarian concerns. “For how long will India continue to ignore the historical facts of the issue and deceive the international community?” he asked, adding that movements advocating the right to self-determination are increasingly gaining support at the international level.

The Hurriyat leader also advised Pakistan to deal with the Kashmir issue in a responsible but effective fashion. “Instances of unprovoked cross-border firing by Indian troops should be highlighted on global platforms,” he said.

First Published: Oct 03, 2017 19:41 IST