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India, Pak should ensure LoC is like border: Lambah

LiveMint logoLiveMint 13-05-2014 PTI

Srinagar: There can be no redrawing of borders between India and Pakistan and any solution to Kashmir issue should ensure that Line of Control (LoC) be “like a border”, S.K. Lambah, special envoy of the outgoing Prime Minister, said on Tuesday.

“After three wars and long periods of disagreements, it is essential that any agreement must ensure that the LoC is like a border between any two normal states. There can be no redrawing of borders,” he said addressing a seminar in Srinagar.

Lambah also advocated free movement of people from Jammu and Kashmir across the LoC, besides steps to enhance trade between the divided parts of the state.

“In accordance with the normal acceptable behaviour between nations, it is imperative that the people of J&K on either side of the LoC should be able to move freely from one side to the other. This is particularly essential as on both sides of the LoC live not only the same ethnic groups but also divided families,” he said.

Lambah said the process of progressive removal of tariff and non-tariff barriers in specified locally produced goods has to be expedited to ensure meaningful trade between the two sides of the LoC.

“The essential prerequisite is that there has to be an end to hostility, violence and terrorism,” he added.

Lambah said a solution to Kashmir issue will substantially enhance India’s security and strengthen the prospects for durable peace and stability in the region and enable New Delhi to focus more on rapidly emerging long term geopolitical challenges.

“It will relieve the burden that our security forces have to shoulder in terms of lives and resources and could boost the Indian economy,” he said.

Lambah said resolution of the Kashmir issue will also enable Pakistan to contribute to the welfare of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and to their progress and prosperity.

“These expected gains from a solution may not be automatic and will require sustained efforts. But, if it opens the door to new future for India and Pakistan, without compromising our security, integrity and constitutional framework, it is worth pursuing,” Lambah said.

“The alternative is status quo of a festering problem and lingering tragedy that will keep us from realising our potential,” he added.

The seminar — ‘Discussion between India and Pakistan on J&K- A Historical Perspective´ —was organised by the Institute of Kashmir Studies, University of Kashmir.

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