ISLAMABAD, March 11: Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party chairman and member of Legislative Assembly Bhim Singh has proposed reunion of the two parts of Kashmir, saying it would pave the way for a solution to the dispute acceptable to majority of the Kashmiris.

Mr Singh, who attended Pagwash conference on Kashmir and also met President Pervez Musharraf, gave details of his visit to Pakistan to mediapersons at a news conference here on Saturday.

He said the two sides of Kashmir, should be reunited. This, he said, would provide the people an opportunity to change their thinking and find a workable solution to the lingering dispute. “Both parts should be allowed to remain independent and free of Indian and Pakistani control,” he further proposed.

In reply to a question about killing of innocent people in the occupied state, he said India considered both parts of Kashmir as its territory. He asked India to release prisoners arrested in connection with the liberation movement.

Mr Singh, who is a lawyer by profession, said he had pursued the cases of 25 prisoners in the Indian Supreme Court and won freedom for them. These prisoners belonged to Pakistan and Kashmir, he added.

He appreciated the ongoing process of confidence-building measures between India and Pakistan, saying this would help mitigate tension between the two countries.

Replying to another question, he said various proposals for resolving the issue, including self-governance, joint control, and independence, had been presented without proper home work.

He said that in his meeting with Gen Musharraf, different aspects of Indo-Pakistan relations and solution to the Kashmir issue were discussed. He said he informed the president that the solution to the dispute should be in accordance with the wishes of the people of Kashmir.

Answering yet another question, he said Indian, Pakistani and Kashmiri leadership supported a peaceful solution to the issue. But the strained relations of more than five decades have vitiated the atmosphere and corrupted the minds of people, he said. He, however, expressed the hope that the issue would be resolved with the passage of time.


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