Chief Minister: Kashmir's Hopes Pinned on India-Pakistan Peace Summit
Hopes to halt the Muslim insurgency in Kashmir remain pinned on this weekend's historic India-Pakistan summit, the troubled state's Chief Minister Farookh Abdullah said Sunday.
The Press Trust of India said Abdullah briefed Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee on the "ground realities" in Kashmir at a meeting in New Delhi.
"I have conveyed the wishes of the people of my state to the Indian prime minister which would be placed before Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf," Abdullah told reporters after the meeting.
"There is an overwhelming desire for peace in the state and Kashmiris are pinning great expectations and hopes on the summit."
Abdullah also met with Home Minister L.K. Advani ahead of Vajpayee's July 14-16 talks with Musharraf, which are likely to focus on Kashmir.
Political analysts have accused India of going into the summit without a thought-out policy on Kashmir.
They say Abdullah was hastily summoned by Vajpayee to deflect criticism before his scheduled meeting Monday with leaders of India's opposition parties.
On Friday Pakistan made a surprise attack on New Delhi, saying India continued to sponsor repression, including human rights violations, in its part of divided Kashmir, where an Islamic insurgency has left more than 35,000 dead since 1989.
New Delhi rejected the allegations.
Kashmir has been the cause of two of the three wars India and Pakistan have fought since independence from Britain in 1947.
India rules about 45 percent of Kashmir and Pakistan just over a third. China holds the rest of the territory.
India blames Pakistan for fomenting the Muslim insurgency. Islamabad, which holds the northern third of Kashmir, denies the allegations but provides open moral and diplomatic support to the separatists – NEW DELHI (AFP)
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)