Kashmiris feels Lahore attack jeopardises their hope for peace

March 4th, 2009 - 5:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, March 4 (IANS) While political leaders did their bit by condemning the terror strike against Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore, angry Kashmiris also spoke out against the attack that they feared had struck at the root of their hopes for peace.
Tuesday’s terror attack, in which eight people were killed and six Sri Lankan cricketers injured, was one more indication that Pakistan was heading towards dangerous instability and the fallout would further threaten the prospects of peace in Jammu and Kashmir, said a large number of people in the valley.

“If Pakistan destabilises, hopes of peace in Kashmir would become an ever elusive dream,” said Muzaffar Ahmad, a college teacher here.

People remained glued to their television sets Tuesday watching replays of the brazen terrorist attack outside the Gaddafi stadium in Pakistan.

A former Ranji player of the Jammu and Kashmir team, Mohammed Ashraf, said he was shocked at the audacious terrorist attack on sportsmen. This could put in jeopardy the chances of Pakistan co-hosting the 2011 World Cup with India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

“It is not just the image of Pakistan that has taken a serious beating, the very future of sports in that country is uncertain now,” Ashraf said.

“The very impact of the universal message of peace and brotherhood that every sportsman carries from one country to another has been rubbished by the attack on the Sri Lanka cricket team,” a stunned Ashraf added.

Businessman Aftab Ahmed said he had always been a great fan of Pakistan’s cricket players. “The dark cloud that looms over not only the sport but the very future of the country has saddened me deeply,” the 46-year-old said.

“It is a bad news for all of us and something that could become worse in the future,” is how Bashir Ahmed, 55, a veterinarian, put it.

Some like Shabir Ahmad, 34, a mentally challenged resident of Amira Kadal locality in Srinagar city, were simply too stunned to react.

Ahmad was sitting in city centre Lal Chowk, his head hidden inside the ‘pheran’ (a loose tweed overcoat). When asked about the attack, he looked blank and dug his face deeper into his pheran.

“Please don’t disturb him further. He is too shocked,” said his neighbour Javaid Ahmad, 48.

Giving his reaction, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said it was “high time Pakistan acted decisively to dismantle the infrastructure of terror on its land”.

Condemning the attack, head of the breakaway faction of the separatist Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Shah Geelani described it as “conspiracy to weaken and destabilise Pakistan”.

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq of the moderate faction of the Hurriyat Conference said the attack was a handiwork of the elements who “do not want to see Pakistan stable”.

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