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Omar advocates Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Kashmir

Srinagar, January 15, 2009:

Chief Minister of Indian administered Kashmir Omar Abdullah here Thursday said that the formation of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Kashmir-which he demanded before coming to power- was dependent on India and Pakistan.

In an article on his blog last year Omar had advocated a Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Kashmir across both sides of Line of Control, the de facto border which divides the Himalayan region into Indian administered and Pakistan administered parts.

"I will like to see the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in both parts of Kashmir but with the support and consent of India and Pakistan," he said addressing media persons at Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian administered Kashmir.

Referring to the killing of thousands of people in Kashmir during past two decades, Omar said the commission in both parts of Kashmir will help check what happened in last two decades and what had gone wrong.

Omar has demanded setting up a commission on the pattern of South Africa's 'Truth and Reconciliation Commission' constituted after the Apartheid so that killings and other human rights violations carried in Kashmir are probed.

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa was headed by a South African cleric and activist Desmond Mpilo Tutu.

Tutu's Truth and Reconciliation Commission was a court-like body assembled in South Africa after the end of Apartheid.

Anybody who felt had been a victim of violence could come forward and be heard at the commission. Perpetrators of violence could also give testimony and request amnesty from prosecution.

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