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Monday, 22 April, 2002, 06:53 GMT 07:53 UK
Kashmir separatist wants foreign militants out
A separatist leader from Indian-administered Kashmir has called for the complete withdrawal of foreign Islamic militants from the region saying they were tainting their freedom movement.

Abdul Ghani Lone, a senior member of Kashmir's main separatist alliance, the All Party Hurryiat Conference, made his comments during a meeting with the head of Pakistan's national committee on Kashmir, Sardar Abdul Qayoom Khan.

Mr Lone said foreign militants were connecting Kashmir with terrorism and helping India's argument that there was no freedom struggle in the region.

Correspondents say Mr Lone and Mr Khan agreed that a solution to the Kashmir issue was only possible through peaceful means.

India accuses Pakistan of funding various rebel groups in Kashmir.

But Islamabad says it only offers moral, diplomatic and political support to the separatists.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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