Srinagar, May 22 (UNI) Peoples Conference chairman Sajjad Ghani Lone today adopted a totally different line when he proposed trifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir as a solution to the vexed issue, a statement likely to evoke strong reactions from his fellow separatists.
Addressing a public meeting here, he said the people of Jammu and Ladakh regions of the state should be given a choice to decide their fate before arriving at any solution to the Kashmir issue.
''If the people of two of the regions -- Jammu and Ladakh -- are not happy with the administrative arrangement, they should be allowed to separate from the state and given a chance to govern themselves,'' he added.
The public meeting was organised at the Sher-i-Kashmir Municipal Park here to mark the fifth death anniversary of his father Abdul Ghani Lone who was assassinated by unidentified gunmen at a rally here on May 21, 2002.
Mr Lone said if India and Pakistan had some reservations for granting ''freedom'' to Jammu and Kashmir, then both the countries should move toward the resolution of the long-festering issue.
''Otherwise, our (Peoples Conference's) vision document has envisaged inclusion of the gun-wielding youth and the people of Jammu and Kashmir in the ongoing dialogue process to resolve the contentious issue as per their aspirations,'' he added.
Mr Lone said his father was killed because he wanted to put an end to the role of ''foreign militants'' in the ongoing armed struggle in Jammu and Kashmir.
About Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's four-point proposal to resolve the Kashmir issue, he said the formula was unacceptable to the people of the state.
Mr Lone attacked Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and the entire state administration for creating hurdles in the movement of his supporters to attend the public meeting.
Almost all the separatists, including leaders of both the factions of the Hurriyat Conference and JKLF chairman Yasin Malik, have repeatedly rejected any trifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir.
Mr Lone's proposal of trifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir was likely to evoke strong reactions from his fellow separatists and also the political leaders of the state.