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AJK PM addresses Kashmir conf, invites Manmohan to Muzaffarabad

Hameed Shaheen

AJK PM receives Prime Minister of Pakistan at Muzaffarabad.

MUZAFFARABAD: Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan Prime Minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir has cautioned that there existed no other option than “reaching a peaceful solution to the Kashmir dispute” as both Pakistan and India were nuclear powers in the same neighborhood of South Asia.

He made this observation in his address here on Monday to the opening session of a 2-day international Kashmir conference inaugurated by Prime Minister of Pakistan Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani who is also chairman of the Kashmir Council, upper house of the AJK parliament. AJK President Raja Zulkarnain Khan also addressed. Including Federal Kashmir Affairs Minister Mian Manzoor Wattoo delegates from 25 countries, USA, UK, China, Germany, France, Saudi Arabia, Hindustan, Indian-held Kashmir, Sri Lanka are attending this conference hosted by the AJK university.

“A viable solution that ensures satisfaction of Kashmiri aspirations can prove a harbinger of durable peace in this region. Both Pakistan and India can achieve new levels of prosperity and can play stronger roles together for the furtherance of international peace and security and regional welfare once this dispute is settled”, he added.

Suggesting a number of measures to pave a way forward in search of Kashmir solution the Prime Minister of AJK urged leadership of Pakistan and India to undertake joint visits to Islamabad, Delhi, Muzaffarabad, Srinagar, Jammu, Laddakh and Gilgit-Baltistan. The whole world wants a peaceful solution to this issue. The UN roadmap is very much clear. The peaceful settlement of Kashmir dispute can open vast vistas of regional and international commerce trade, tourism in South Asia, he added.

Sardar Attique denounced as belligerent duplicity the statements given by the Indian army and air force chiefs in the aftermath of Abbottabad episode and said such duplicity was the major cause of prolongation of Kashmir as a dispute. Tracing the history of negotiations over Kashmir he recalled that immediately after the birth this dispute the Founder of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah had called a summit meeting between him and Indian Prime Minister Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru on November First 1947 in Lahore. Pundit Nehru despite making a pledge to attend the meeting did not turn up at the last minute and instead sent his Governor General Lord Mountbatten to Lahore who held talks with the Quaid and Prime Minister Khan Liaquat Ali Khan. Mountbatten offered plebiscite in Jammu & Kashmir, Hyderabad and Junagarh, but exactly after two months India took Kashmir to the UN Security Council and got it registered there as dispute on January First 1948. India’s intransigence stands in the way of UN Security Council recommended plebiscite in J&K, he asserted.

Appreciating the Pakistan-Hindustan CBMs on Kashmir Sardar Attique suggested setting up of a joint Pakistan-India-Kashmir Economic Development Fund and opening of entire Line of Control to allow massive interaction of Kashmiri people including of political parties having any affiliation or belonging to any school of political thought. The LoC should turn into a facilitating line of commerce instead of staying it as highly militarized divide and gradually it should be done to non-existence, he proposed.

With the passage of time the Kashmir dispute has acquired new regional and international dimensions. The deciding parties to this dispute are the UN, Pakistan, China, India and Kashmiris. He appreciated the reiteration for Kashmir settlement by the US President Barack Obama and Chinese Premier Mr Wen Jiabao in their separate official visits to New Delhi in November and December 2010. He also welcomed the call by the British Premier Mr David Cameron to solve Kashmir issue during latter’s recent visit to Islamabad.

The conference will formulate a joint declaration on Kashmir at the conclusion of its proceedings on Tuesday, May 24, 2011. It is the first international Kashmir conference being held in Muzaffarabad, a demand by the Kashmiris to hold such events within the State of Jammu and Kashmir to spread awareness among the masses.


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