January 2004 News

MMA endorses Kashmir 'sellout'

10 January 2004
The Nation
Mubashir Hassan

LAHORE: By Mubashir Hassan LAHORE PML (N) leader Khawaja Muhammad Asif has said that Mutahidda Majlise Amal (MMA) was blindly endorsing the wrong policies of the present government on Kashmir, Afghanistan and the nuclear programme. While speaking at The Nation Forum here on Saturday, Khawaja Asif alleged that MMA leadership was following the policy of double standards in dealing with the government and the people it represents. He said though MMA expressed solidarity with the people of Kashmir by announcing to observe Solidarity Day on February 5, yet it (MMA) kept mum on government's U-turn over the Kashmir issue. The person whom the MMA had been calling 'a security risk', was now its ally and the presidential referendum which it had challenged in the apex court has now been legitimised, he further alleged. Khawaja Asif questioned as to why Jamat-e-Islami was silent over Islamabad declaration, whereas it had strongly opposed the Lahore Declaration in 1999. It is evident that JI is dancing at the tunes of power brokers who are using it to fulfill their designs. He said ARD had already anticipated that the so-called differences of the MMA with the government were mere eyewash, aiming at befooling the people. Criticising the government's Kashmir policy, he alleged that Kashmir has already been sold out and the people are being mentally prepared for a U-turn announcement in this regard. The government's frequent policy statements on Kashmir are an indication that it has recognised UN resolutions on Kashmir as obsolete and redundant, said PML(N) leader. He further said whenever country underwent any serious crisis, it were none else but the generals who were at the helms of affairs. The country is still healing its wounds it received due to fall of Dhaka but preparations are underway to inflict new injuries by retreating on the Kashmir issue, he lamented. The rulers should tell the nation as to why five wars were fought with India if they were to take a U-turn on Kashmir, he questioned, adding that blood of thousands of martyrs is also raising the same question. He said army rulers have always criticised the politicians but they themselves showed cowardice whenever the country was passing through a critical juncture. To a question, Kh Asif said army rulers attend political gatherings wearing uniforms just to humiliate the politicians. The uniform, which is the symbol of sanctity of the army as an institution, is now being used to disgrace the politicians, he maintained. Replying to a question about the return of Shahbaz Sharif to the country, Khawaja Asif said that he (Shahbaz) would soon plan to come to Pakistan without caring for any resistance by the government. Moot A two-day seminar on 'Regional Cooperation and Economic Development' will be held in the provincial capital on January 17-18. About 40 accountancy experts from the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and the South Asian countries will deliver lectures on different aspects of economy at the programme jointly organized by Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan and The Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Pakistan (ICAMP). Major subjects to be discussed at the seminar are Regional Trade, Performance and Prospects, Tax Reforms in SAARC countries, Tourism for Regional Development, Regional Cooperation for Development of Capital Market, Cost rationalization for meeting WTO challenges.


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