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Musharraf-baiters shoot down J&K plan

October 26, 2004 15:34 IST

Opposition parties in Pakistan on Tuesday slammed President Pervez Musharraf's latest proposals on solving the Kashmir problem.

On Monday night, Musharraf said that plebiscite was not a solution to the Kashmir problem and suggested that India and Pakistan consider the option of identifying some "regions" of Kashmir on both sides of the Line of Control, demilitarising them and granting them the status of independence or joint control or putting them under UN mandate.

The alliance of six Islamic parties, Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, said that the plan was a "betrayal" of the Kashmir cause. "It is a rollback. What we have been told about our Kashmir policy is something different. No one was taken into confidence on such an important decision," MMA leader and vice president of the Jamat Ulema Islami, Hafeez Hussain Ahmad, said.

"When the prime minister and the Kashmir committee of parliament are there then there is no need to announce the options unilaterally," The Nation, a local daily, quoted him as saying.

"Whatever the ideas, he should have put them forward in parliament," he said.

Former PM Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party described the plan as "an insult to the struggling people of Kashmir".

PPP spokesman Faratullah Babar said, "...Gen Musharraf cannot impose any solution behind the back of Kashmiris."

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, founded by deposed PM Nawaz Sharief, said the suggestion was impractical and would be unacceptable to Kashmiris and even to India. "I think things are moving in this direction ever since the Indo-Pak joint statement of January 6. But I doubt whether Kashmiris or even Indians would accept these solutions," PML-N leader Raja Zafarul Haq said.

"Above all these seem to be the general's personal ideas, as they were never discussed in parliament and never debated by the public," he said.

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