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Militants warn against travelling on bus

By Shujaat Bukhari

— Photo: Nissar Ahmad

Major Vikram Sankhla handing over the list of prospective passengers of the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service to the Deputy Commissioner of Muzaffarabad, Liaqat Ali, at Kaman Post, the last point of the Line of Control in the Indian side on Wednesday.

SRINAGAR, MARCH 30. Four militant organisations today urged the people not to board the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus. They also assailed the Pakistan Government for going ahead with the bus diplomacy.

In a joint statement faxed to newspaper offices here, the pro-Pakistan Al-Nasireen (The Helpers), Save Kashmir Movement, Al-Arifeen (The Pious) and Farzandan-e-Millat (Sons of the Community) said that an extraordinary meeting of the "supreme commanders" of all the four outfits was held in Srinagar to discuss the proposed bus service.

"They agreed that the bus service was in no way in the interest of [the] ongoing jihad in Kashmir," the statement said. "It was a deep conspiracy by [the] Indian Government and is a lethal weapon to cause damage to the very foundation of [the] freedom struggle."

The first two groups are the major militant movements responsible for a number of fidayeen (suicide) attacks in Kashmir, but the others are little known. "This is friendly advice to passengers that they should not board this coffin to Muzaffarabad," the statement signed by the commanders of the organisations said. It also carried a list of 40 prospective passengers who will travel during the inaugural ride on April 7.

Acknowledging Pakistan's role in "helping Kashmiris in their genuine struggle," the statement criticised the Pakistan President, General Pervez Musharraf for supporting the bus diplomacy thus "helping India to fulfil its desire."

It also termed the stand taken by the All-Parties Hurriyat Conference, led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, on the bus service as "pro-Indian" but complimented Syed Ali Geelani, head of the Hurriyat's rival faction, for taking a "truthful, just and genuine stand against the bus service."

"But we appeal [to] Mr. Geelani not to issue any statement which causes damage to [the] ideology of accession to Pakistan in Kashmir," the commanders said.

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