Separatists welcome Obama’’s statement on Kashmir

November 7th, 2008 - 10:44 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama

Srinagar, Nov 7 (ANI): Kashmir’’s separatist leader Moulvi Abbas Ansari on Friday welcomed the US president-elect Barack Obama’’s remarks on Kashmir.

Obama last week in an interview with MSNBC suggested that the United States should try to help resolve the Kashmir dispute so that Pakistan can focus on hunting down Islamist militants on its north-western frontier.

I think that he (American president elect Barack Obama) has given statement earlier also and today also he has given a statement. This is a very positive statement and if he sticks to this I am sure it will help in finding a peaceful solution to Kashmir issue. Both India and Pakistan have congratulated him (Obama) and vowed to work with him, I am confident that a solution would be definitely found, Abbas said in Srinagar.

Meanwhile, troops in Srinagar sealed off residential areas with razor wire and barricades, imposing what amounted to an undeclared curfew to thwart a separatist rally on Thursday.

Thousands of police and soldiers in riot gear patrolled deserted streets in Srinagar and warned residents to stay indoors.

Separatists had planned a huge anti-India rally in the 500-year-old Jamia Masjid, or Grand Mosque, on Thursday to honour the “martyrs” and to announce plans to boycott local elections beginning November 17.

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Conference, who was scheduled to lead the rally, has been under house arrest since Wednesday.

Security forces have intensified a crackdown on separatists who want to boycott the Jammu and Kashmir elections.

Some were sent to jail last week under a tough security law that allows detention for up to two years without trial.

Shops, businesses and schools remained closed across the disputed Kashmir valley on Thursday as part of the protests. (ANI)

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