Islamabad seeks UN mediation on Kashmir
17 December 2002
ISLAMABAD : Pakistan on Tuesday asked the United Nations to play a mediatory role between Pakistan and India for the just solution of Kashmir issue as earlier settlement of this dispute was vital for durable peace in South Asia. The Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs, Northern Areas, States and Frontier Regions, Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao stated this here after he was sworn in as Chief Executive (CE) of Northern Areas.Talking to the newsmen, Sherpao said that Pakistan wanted the just settlement of Kashmir issue as it was the core dispute between Pakistan and India. He, however, regretted that India was never serious enough to resolve this issue. He said the United Nations should go for mediation to resolve the Kashmir issue. He added that the United States and other leading nations of the world must also play their due role in this regard.He said that Indian Premier Atal Behari Vajpayee had sent a letter to Pakistani government as a mark of goodwill gesture, but we expected the more from the Indian side as it was their moral obligation to reciprocate our peace endeavors.He said that the SAARC summit was postponed due to Indian intransigence which had made it all the more necessary that Indian government reviews its inept attitude. Pakistan on its part was ready to do whatever it could for the resolution of all outstanding issues with India, he added.He reiterated that Pakistan was ready to enter into dialogue with India at each and every forum as it was our firm belief that the thorny issue of Kashmir and other disputes could only be resolved through meaningful dialogue.On rehabilitation work of earthquake victims in Northern Areas, Sherpao said that the federal government was taking all possible steps to address the problems of affectees and food and shelter items were being provided on priority basis.He said that the Prime Minister would be requested to visit the quakehit areas to ascertain the first hand information about the affectees and see for himself the rehabilitation process.To a question, the federal minister said the Jamali government had already announced Rs 10 million for the quake affectees in Northern Areas and it would be extending maximum possible support to them in future as well.