//Hurriyat demands complete withdrawal of troops in J&K

Hurriyat demands complete withdrawal of troops in J&K

Thursday, February 23, 2006  19:16 IST — SRINAGAR: Demanding revocation of "unlimited" powers "enjoyed" by troops in Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of killing of four youths, the moderate Hurriyat faction on Thursday said the whole state should be demilitarised — a suggestion made by Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf to resolve the Kashmir issue.

"For resolution of Kashmir and lasting peace in the region it is imperative to ensure complete withdrawal of troops from Jammu and Kashmir," Hurriyat Chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq said terming the killing of youths allegedly by the security forces at Doodipora yesterday as an "eye-opener" for the international community.

The "unlimited" powers being enjoyed by the troops should be revoked, he demanded in a statement.

Farooq also sent a memorandum addressed to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan saying "I would like to take this opportunity to apprise your excellency about the present situation of terror unleashed by Indian armed paramilitary forces in Jammu and Kashmir".

The Hurriyat Conference is of the view that unless the "draconian laws" which give authority to the Indian forces to "catch and kill" people without any reasons are withdrawn and demilitarisation of the whole state takes place, killing of "innocent" people will continue and peace in the region will remain a distant dream, the memorandum said.

The memorandum, submitted to the local representatives of United Nations Military Observers Group for India and Pakistan at Sonawar by a group of leaders of the amalgam, appealed to Secretary General to take up the matter with the Indian government.

About the February 25 roundtable conference, Farooq accused the centre of misleading the international community by organising a "futile" exercise.

He gave a call for Kashmir bandh on Friday to protest against the incident.