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Home > News > PTI

Militancy in Kashmir a lucrative business?

October 02, 2007 17:18 IST
Last Updated: October 02, 2007 18:32 IST

A European group monitoring Jammu and Kashmir [Images] has said militancy had turned into a lucrative business in the state with criminals taking advantage of the troubled situation were indulging in extortion and abduction in the name of the so-called 'movement.'

The Belgian Association for Solidarity with Jammu and Kashmir, in its recent report, has said criminals were taking advantage of the troubled situation in the state.

"They are abducting people for money, raping, murdering, extorting money from businessperson, using mafia practices under the movement. Militancy is a lucrative industry," the report, submitted to the European Union and the United Nations during the recent session of the sub-commission on human rights, said.

The report, prepared by Association President Paul Beersmans after his visit to Jammu and Kashmir and meeting every shade of opinion including political leaders, separatists and government functionaries, has also asked Pakistan to stop cross-border terrorism and infiltration, end sending money, ammunition and weapons and stop giving training to militants.

"As long as Pakistan supports terrorism openly or covertly, there cannot be peace in Jammu and Kashmir. Without peace there cannot be a solution," the 20-page report said.

Beersmans also advised that composite dialogue between India and Pakistan must continue.

'The process is slow and one should not expect a short-term solution. This can only be reached through small steps,' it said. 

Taking a dig at the separatist outfits, including the Hurriyat Conference, the report said New Delhi was still interested in having talks or contacts with the Kashmiri society, including the dissident leaders.

'Again and again the Centre invites them but they refuse to accept the invitation; refuse to sit on the same table as the mainstream politicians, as they are in their eyes, a part of the Indian establishment. However, they must understand and accept that the Centre must also talk to the mainstream parties as they are democratically elected representatives of the Kashmiris and also they are a part of the Kashmiri society,' the report said.

While acknowledging that the security forces did commit human rights violations, the report said 'there is also no doubt that not all cases of human rights violations committed by the security forces are disclosed or prosecuted.'

However, the report was critical of separatist leaders who had always failed in mentioning or being 'critical on human rights violations committed by militants or ordinary crimes by bandits.'

It also said that Kashmiris were in general happy with the democratic elected government and the state Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad was trying to meet the aspiration and expectations of the people.

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