February 1998 News

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Pakistan Declares 1998 as 50th Year of UN Kashmir Resolution

22nd February 1998
The Dawn Bureau Report

Serious efforts made to promote Kashmir cause

ISLAMABAD: Information Minister Mushahid Hussain Sayed has claimed that the government has made serious, sustained and organized efforts,to promote and project Kashmir cause both at home and internationally. The minister was briefing newsmen here on Sunday.

He, however, refused to make any comments when his attention was drawn to an interview of foreign minister Gohar Ayub Khan in which he had said that there was no harm in establishing trade ties with India before the resolution of the Kashmir issue.

The information minister said that in the first place he had not so far seen the interview in question and secondly, the foreign minister was the right person to approach for an explanation.

Earlier, explaining the government's Kashmir policy, Mushahid Hussain said it had been pursued with the following three-pronged objective:

1. Strengthening the national consensus on the Kashmir issue so that all the political forces and people from all parts of Pakistan and all sections of society take a unified position on the issue.

2. The dialogue with India managed to put India on the defensive since India's agreement to discuss Kashmir, meant accepting that the Kashmir question is an outstanding dispute.

3. Revive the Kashmir issue internationally as well as through seminars, publications and media-related activities so that the relevance of the Kashmir issue to the present situation is underlined, as is evident from the government's decision to declare 1998 as the 50th anniversary year of the United Nations resolutions on Kashmir.

He said the government had made major public moves on the Kashmir question during the last one year, not just keeping it alive but supporting the cause in many diverse ways.

"The government has, therefore, succeeded in reviving the Kashmir question among the people of Pakistan, in bilateral relations with India, at the regional level and internationally as well," he said and then gave date-wise list of Kashmir related events the government had sponsored during the last one year.

He said in order to mark the 50 years of UN resolutions on Kashmir in a befitting manner, the government was planning to organize an international seminar in Muzaffarabad on Aug 13, 1998.

The information minister informed newsmen that his Malaysian counterpart Dato Mohamed Rahmat would be arriving in Pakistan on Monday.

He said that the two countries would explore the possibility of greater cooperation between the electronic media of Pakistan and Malaysia, exchange news and journalists. The official news agencies of the two countries (APP and Bernama) will also enter into an exchange agreement, he added.

Mushahid Hussain said that the two countries would also discuss the matter of image of Islam in the international media and try to put together a unified programme to combat the negative projection of Islam.


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