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Neutralise Pakistan for peace in Kashmir: Sinha

Neutralise Pakistan for peace in Kashmir: Sinha

Author: IANS
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: December 1, 2003
URL: http://www.newindpress.com/NewsItems.asp?ID=IEH20031130100939&Page=H&Title=Top+Stories&Topic=%2D100&

Permanent peace would come to Jammu and Kashmir only after Pakistan's "mischievous designs" were neutralised, the state's governor said here on Sunday.

"So long Pakistan has the potential of creating mischief in Kashmir, prospects of peace are grim," Lieutenant General (retd) S.K. Sinha said.

"Something needs to be done to reduce this mischief and that would happen only if Pakistan disintegrates due to its own internal problems or there is an economic collapse in that country like in the former Soviet Union," he said while speaking on the "Current Situation in Jammu and Kashmir" at an Indian Army base here.

According to him the U.S. had compelled Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf "to change his stand" and that is why Islamabad had proposed a ceasefire in Kashmir that had come into effect November 25.

"Both external and internal pressures forced Pakistan to go for a ceasefire," he contended.

At the same time, he warned there would be no let up in the vigil against infiltration into Kashmir.

"We will not open fire expect when we come across infiltrators from across the border and if that happens the situation can escalate and jeopardise the fragile peace," Sinha said.

Sinha said the people of Kashmir were "tired of violence" and craved for peace in the region.

"The problem in Kashmir is a complex one with international interventions and religious fundamentalist forces of its worst kind complicating matters."

The governor said a series of development and confidence-building measures had been undertaken by the Indian government to restore peace in Kashmir.

"We have launched a three-pronged strategy - a coordinated security offensive, psychological initiatives and economic development schemes to win the hearts of the Kashmiris," Sinha said.

Among the economic measures were jobs for 100,000 Kashmiri youth, tube wells for 100,000 farmers and a mega railway project linking the Kashmir Valley to the rest of India.

"We are working on these projects under a special policy called Vision 2007," the governor said.

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