Obama should facilitate talks on Kashmir: Shabir Shah

November 4th, 2010 - 5:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Jammu, Nov 4 (IANS) Ahead of US President Barack Obama’s arrival on a four-day official visit to India, prominent separatist leader Shabir Ahmad Shah Thursday appealed to him to facilitate India-Pakistan talks to resolve the Kashmir issue.

“If he cannot mediate, he should at least facilitate Indo-Pakistan talks to find a solution to Kashmir dispute,” said Shah.

The president of the Jammu Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party and a member of the executive council of All Party Hurriyat Conference was released from a jail here late Wednesday night.

Talking to reporters, he said it was “because of the Kashmir issue that India is unable to get a permanent seat in the UN Security Council”.

Shah sought demilitarization of Gilgit and Baltistan areas of Pakistan-controlled Kashmir.

In September, Gilgit and Baltistan areas came to grab international attention due to the presence of Chinese troops. The areas were part of undivided Jammu and Kashmir until 1947.

Shah, also called “Nelson Mandela of Kashmir”, said that if there was a need to demilitarize Jammu and Kashmir, so was the need for withdrawing military from areas under the control of Pakistan, including Gilgit Pakistan.

Earlier, activists of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), the youth wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the main opposition party of India, tried to disrupt his press conference.

Order was restored with the intervention of police.

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