Pakistan cries foul
1 July 2000
New Delhi: Unlike the Indian Home Minister Mr L K Advani''s measured response to the J&K Assembly resolution on autonomy that Parliament would be the final arbiter, Pakistan saw its efforts at annexation being wasted and made a spirited effort to revive a moribund UN resolution to demand ''self-determination'' for the people of Kashmir. The Nation said ''a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry dismissed as farcical the adoption on Monday of the so-called autonomy resolution by the puppet State Assembly of the Indian-held Kashmir. The so-called State Assembly, constituted through rigged election, has absolutely no representative status. ''Dr Farooq Abdullah is a puppet of the Indian authorities who is trying to divert attention from the freedom struggle of the Kashmiri people by presenting himself as the champion of autonomy. Such gimmicks have been attempted in the past and have never succeeded. Through their sacrifices, the people of Occupied Kashmir have demonstrated to the world that they will not be denied the exercise of their right to self-determination and will accept nothing short of freedom. ''The Government of Pakistan reiterates that a just and lasting solution of the Kashmir dispute can only be based on the exercise by the Kashmiri people of their right to self-determination in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations. He reiterated Pakistan s long-standing position that the State of J&K is a disputed territory, the final disposition of which has to be made in accordance with the will of the people expressed through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite conducted under the auspices of the UN. In an interview to BBC, Federal Information Minister Javed Jabbar has reiterated that the only solution to the Kashmir dispute lies in talks between Pakistan and India with the focus on the aspirations and opinion of the people of Kashmir. ''Rejecting the so-called idea of greater internal autonomy to Occupied Kashmir, Javed Jabbar said It is an attempt on part of India to deny the right to the Kashmiri people, which has been given to them by the UN, to decide their future on their own and as to which country, that is, either Pakistan or India, they want to join. The News reports that: ''Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar has described the resolution on autonomy adopted in the Indian-held Kashmir Assembly as irrelevant and noted that it was unresponsive to the demands of Kashmiris. Abdul Sattar said the puppet government of Farooq Abdullah was trying to steal the thunder of the Freedom Conference, knowing fully that its subservient policies had been totally discredited in the eyes of Kashmiri people. ''He said the actions of the Indian-controlled assembly were irrelevant because the UN Security Council had held in the past that the Assembly was not an acceptable substitute for plebiscite. This, he noted, had also been pledged in the resolutions of the Security Council. ''The foreign minister said the inherent right to self-determination to the Kashmiri people was pledged by India in 1947 and was sanctified in the resolutions of the UN Security Council in 1948-49. Abdul Sattar dismissed the status of the Kashmir Assembly and said that it was the product of a rigged election, which was boycotted by a vast majority of the people in held valley. The real and authentic voice of the people of Kashmir is the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), he said. ''The minister said the government of India had imposed Dr Farooq Abdullah on the state. The chief minister serves the aims and objectives of the government of India and the recent decision of the puppet regime is just a back-handed tribute to the APHC, Sattar said. He added: There can be no other solution but to give Kashmiris the right to self-determination in accordance with their wishes and demands. ''The UN Security Council has recognised that for India and Pakistan to have a lasting solution on the Kashmir question it s necessary to have a dialogue. So we are waiting for India to enter into these intensified efforts. Sattar said the talks should focus on the ''root cause of tensions'' between the two countries and on what he called the right of the Kashmiri people to determine their own future as agreed by the All Parties Hurriyat (Freedom) Conference. ''What the Freedom Conference (Hurriyat Conference) has said on more than one occasion is the Kashmiri people want an opportunity to exercise their right of self-determination which was pledged to them by the government of India in 1947 and sanctified in resolutions of the UN Security Council in 1948 and 1949. The News International Pakistan in its editorial section said ''Mr Abdullah s game must therefore be seen in the light of Delhi s consistent attempt to signal to the world its ''reasonableness'' and ''open-mindedness'' on Kashmir. Already in the process of engaging in public at least the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, and having registered its flexibility on Kashmir with Washington by releasing some of the Kashmiri leaders from jail, Delhi can present the held-Kashmir Assembly s approval of the autonomy plan as another concession on the road to rethinking its Kashmir policy.