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Hurriyat-M flays banning civilian traffic on Sgr-Jmu highway

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Srinagar, Jul 04: The Hurriyat-M Thursday condemned the government's decision to ban civilian traffic on a stretch of the Srinagar-Jammu national highway for over five hours a day to allow incident-free passage to vehicles carrying Amarnath Yatra pilgrims, saying the "anti-people diktat" be immediately withdrawn.

A meeting of the senior leaders of the Hurriyat-M, chaired by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, was held at the amalgam headquarters at Rajbagh here, a spokesman of the conglomerate said.

He said the Hurriyat condemned the government's decision of imposing restrictions on movement of civilian traffic, including tourist vehicles, on the national highway and suspension of train services during the Amarnath Yatra.

"The yatris have always been welcomed by the people of Kashmir who have always facilitated its (Yatra's) smooth conduct and lend support to it. However, time and again Kashmiris are subject to harassment and inconvenience as the highway is shut down for them on one pretext or the other," spokesman said.

He said such "diktats", besides causing inconvenience to common people, greatly impact the trade and tourism industry.

"Those in power should immediately withdraw this anti-people diktat," the spokesman said.

On Monday, an official had said, "Civilian traffic on Qazigund-Nashri stretch of the Srinagar-Jammu national highway will not be allowed for five-and-a-half hours from 10 am to 3:30 pm from today (Monday) in view of the Yatra."

He, however, had said emergency vehicles would be allowed during this time after receiving passes from Ramban Deputy Commissioner.

The Hurriyat-M also said, "It will keep pursuing to seek a peaceful resolution of the (Kashmir) issue as per democratic principle of respecting people's sentiments and promises. And the best means of addressing the problem, we believe, is through engagement, dialogue and deliberation, which we have always advocated and participated in."

“The Hurriyat is ready to cooperate with every effort by all parties concerned to address the issue,” the spokesman said.

Meanwhile, a delegation of Kashmiri Pandits led by Satish Mahaldar met the Hurriyat leaders here.

The meeting was in continuation of the previous meeting the delegation had with the Mirwaiz at his residence last month regarding the return of Pandits to Kashmir and initiating a sustained inter-community dialogue to build mutual trust, the spokesman said.

"A decision to form a committee was taken that would take the process forward to facilitate Kashmiri Pandits’ early return. The delegation thanked APHC and lauded its efforts," the spokesman said.

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