Support for Kashmir separatists from across border: India

August 22nd, 2008 - 7:09 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 22 (IANS) As thousands of Muslim protesters held rallies in Srinagar Friday over a land row, India blamed “some elements across the border” for “providing succour and support” to separatists in the Kashmir Valley. “There are elements who have received succour and support from across the border. It is a matter of concern,” Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma told the CNN-IBN news channel.

The response came when he was asked whether he suspected that a section of Kashmir’s Hurriyat Conference that is leading the protests was getting support from Pakistan.

Sharma also underlined the need for the Hurriyat and all others who speak for the people to join the political mainstream and resolve issues in a democratic spirit.

“We are a democracy and all those who claim to speak for the people have the option to come into the electoral mainstream. Get elected and assume responsibility,” he replied when asked whether the government would talk to the Hurriyat.

”They cannot claim to represent in a democracy without being elected. Our democracy gives people the option of being elected as members of parliament,” he added.

India has rejected Pakistan’s allegation about the use of excess force in the Valley to quell protests that erupted with the transfer of 40 hectares of land three months ago to the Amarnath Shrine Board that manages the annual pilgrimage to the Hindu cave shrine.

India has also repudiated Pakistan’s attempts to internationalise the issue by asking Islamabad to desist from interfering in this country’s internal affairs.

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