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We know the importance of peace, say Kashmiris

Thursday July 14, 2011 06:26:26 PM, IANS

Srinagar: For once, it was not in the news. The Kashmir Valley was quiet Thursday but for people who have seen strife for so many years, the serial bombings in Mumbai were another reminder that terror could achieve nothing but death and destruction, that violence could never succeed.

A day after a series of blasts rocked India's financial capital, killing 17 people and injuring 131, the sense of empathy was palpable.

"Death, bomb blasts, injuries and things like these are always very disturbing for us. We have seen these things from close quarters and suffered them for more than two decades," said Muzaffar Ahmad, 49, a college teacher here.

"Violence leads nowhere. It just brings more misery in the lives of those who are already suffering," Ahmad added.

After three years of continued unrest, Kashmir is seeing a normal summer. And the importance of peace cannot be overstated, say locals.

"Allah should give wisdom to those who believe objectives can be met by resorting to violence. Has anything ever been achieved by violence," asked Bashir Ahmad, 59, a retired government official here.

"The doctrine of bringing governments down on their knees through terrorising the common man has failed everywhere in the modern world. It is like trying to make peace hostage by guaranteeing it after the dictates of the gun are accepted. It is outdated, archaic and barbaric. It won't succeed," Ahmad declared.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also spoke out against the the swirling rumours.

He said it was yet to be known who was behind the Mumbai blasts.

Abdullah wrote on the microblogging site Twitter: "I've heard everything from I.M. (Indian Mujaheedin) to a Kashmir based LeT (Lashkar-e-Taiba) module & a whole lot of groups in between but the truth is WE DON'T KNOW as yet."

In yet another tweet about the Mumbai blasts, he wrote: "Can we have a little more of facts & a little less of rumours about who is behind the attack. If we don't know as yet, let's say we don't know."

On the streets, it was business as usual with police saying security was already on maximum alert.

"We are already on high alert and there is no need for any further beefing up," said a senior police officer.

"Life is moving about normally here. Children have gone to the school after their summer recess today and that is it," said Muhammad Shafi, 48, a businessman.

The Amarnath pilgrimage, which has seen 300,000 devotees trek to the high altitude cave shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva, also continued as normal.









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