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Wednesday, 22 May, 2002, 13:02 GMT 14:02 UK
Press condemns Kashmir killing
Indian newspapers
Mr Lone paid the price in the murky politics of Kashmir

The killing of leading Kashmiri separatist leader Abdul Ghani Lone dominated the Indian newspapers on Wednesday.

The daily Indian Express ran a front-page headline: "In hawk's season, Valley loses its Hurriyat dove".

The paper says the main reason why Mr Lone became a victim of a suspected militant attack was because he had always stressed that Kashmir was a purely political issue, and not a religious one.

The paper says Mr Lone was brought into a direct conflict with Islamic militants when he said that foreign militants and those with pan-Islamic agendas should leave Kashmiris alone.

Another article in the paper says Mr Lone's death is a warning to other Kashmiri leaders against speaking out so clearly and openly against foreign militants whose vision of a global "jihad" is not shared by Kashmiri nationalists.

Murky politics

Another leading daily, The Times of India, says Abdul Ghani Lone paid the ultimate price in the murky politics of Kashmir.

Describing him as a Kashmiri nationalist, the article says his assassination is the latest in a series serving to eliminate alternative power centres.

The article says the current spate of violence is clearly aimed at disrupting the forthcoming assembly elections and to warn other moderate leaders to desist from vacating hardline militant position on Kashmir.

The Hindustan Times says the state elections due in September this year were the real reason for Mr Lone's killing.

The paper says Pakistan and the jehadis feared that elections would spell the end of Kashmiri political alienation.

Warning shot

It says Mr Lone's increasing sympathy for the Indian Government's position on Kashmir was posing a threat.

The paper says that Mr Lone's killing sends out two clear messages: helping India bring an end to the Kashmir insurgency is amounts to a death warrant and a Hurriyat politically independent of militants will not be tolerated.

This is a point also made by The Hindu newspaper.

The paper says the attack was a cold-blooded attempt by the militants and their patrons to send a warning to all those individuals and voices which favour peace and democracy in the valley.

It says Mr Lone made no secret of his view that "guest militants were neither relevant nor welcome in the struggle."

It says the separatist leader was made to pay a heavy price for his independent views.

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22 May 02 | South Asia
22 May 02 | South Asia
21 May 02 | South Asia
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