SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- Moderate separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq expressed serious concern Wednesday over the ongoing skirmishes on the line-of- control (LoC) or de facto border in disputed Kashmir, saying relations between India and Pakistan cannot remain stable unless Kashmir issue is resolved.
"The growing tension between the two nuclear nations - India and Pakistan - on LoC is clear indication that every effort to stabilize relations between them won't succeed until the basic issue of Kashmir is resolved according to the wishes and aspirations of Kashmiri people," said Farooq while addressing a huge gathering at a Sufi shrine in Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir.
Farooq urged both New Delhi and Islamabad to show patience and prudence and take serious steps to ease out the tension that is likely to endanger peace in South Asia.
"The situation on LoC has pushed New Delhi and Islamabad back to square one," said Farooq. "The steps that the two countries took over the years as confidence building measures have not helped them because the major issue of Kashmir remains unresolved."
The skirmishes since Jan. 6 between Indian and Pakistani troopers on LoC have claimed lives of two Indian and three Pakistani soldiers.
In the wake of escalation in firing in Kashmir, the cross LoC trade and travel remains suspended.
New Delhi and Islamabad in 2003 agreed to observe a ceasefire along LoC in Kashmir. Though some violations have been reported on both sides, the ceasefire remains in effect.
Farooq also appealed International community for their intervention in defusing tension between the two countries.
"International community played its role in Kargil war and once again the time has come that they should play their role to end the tension between the two nations," said Farooq. "The international community should persuade both the countries to peacefully solve their problems and take solid steps towards resolution of Kashmir issue."
Separatists in Indian-controlled Kashmir are demanding an end to New Delhi's rule in the region.
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