MUZAFFARABAD: Azad Jammu and Kashmir’s Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider on Tuesday urged the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front-led marchers to call off their march who have been staging a sit-in protest since Sunday when they were forced to stop some eight kilometres before the LoC in Chakothi sector due to a blockade on Muzaffarabad-Srinagar road by the administration.

On Monday, JKLF leaders had renewed their appeal to the AJK government to remove the obstacles and allow the marchers to cross the ceasefire line (LoC) or else they would continue their sit-in for “an indefinite period”.

As an alternative, the JKLF has demanded the AJK government bring any representative of the UN secretary-general as well as representatives of the P5 members of Security Coun­cil to whom they could present their charter of demands.

In his cautious response, Prime Minister Haider said: “Those who have gone there [towards LoC] are our brot­h­­­­ers. They have succeeded in letting the world know what they wanted it to know.”

He expressed the hope that the marchers would ret­urn after they had shown their resolve and commitment to the whole world. “Such things [the march towards the LoC] would continue to happen repeatedly. Eventually, this ill-omen bloody line has to vanish, either in a peaceful way or otherwise. People should make preparations for it from now on,” he said. “God willing this is bound to happen, sooner or later.”

Mr Haider stressed that there should be no conceptual confusion in the ranks of Kashmiris. “We all should raise one slogan and make one demand. That is a plebiscite.”

Published in Dawn, October 9th, 2019