January 2004 News

Qureshi asks militants to silence guns

12 January 2004
The Daily Excelsior
Daily Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR: Rejecting the United Nations (UN) resolution on Kashmir, the Democratic Liberation Party (DLP) has held Pakistan responsible for making Kashmir a bilateral issue between the two countries and appealed to militants ‘’ to silence their guns and join the dialogue process’’. 'We oppose the implementation of the UN resolution by which the people of the Jammu and Kashmir have only two option — to join India or Pakistan—, the DLP chairman Hashim Qureshi told a news conference here today. It is not acceptable to the people of the State who have made sacrifices for all these years, he said, adding that they wanted self determination. However, he said, it was Pakistan which got the earlier UN resolutions on Kashmir, granting self determination to the people, amended on January 5, 1949, and made it a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan. In reply to a question, he said the thaw in India and Pakistan relations was welcome. But, he said, the improvement in the relations should not be at the cost of the people of this unfortunate state. Appealing to militants to silence their guns and join the dialogue process, Mr Qureshi, facing a trial in a local Court here for hijacking the Indian Airlines plane in 1971 from Srinagar to Lahore, said gun has never helped in resolving any problem anywhere in the world. In view of the changed global situation it was high time the gun was dropped , he said appealing to militants to take their case through peaceful means. However, he said about 85 per cent guns were already silent in Kashmir. He also urged authorities here and in Pakistan- occupied Kashmir (PoK) to provide a free atmosphere to politicians to raise their voices. On resolving the Kashmir issue, he said, India and Pakistan had initiated a process and they were coming more closer by resuming trade, rail and bus links. But, he warned that peace in the sub-continent would remain a distant dream until the Kashmir issue was resolved as per the wishes of the people living on both sides of the control line. He also appealed to separatist and other parties in PoK, Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh to sit across the table and hammer out a common agenda on the issue which could be later taken up with India and Pakistan. When a reporter asked if he agreed that India has occupied Jammu and Kashmir by force, Mr Qureshi said both India and Pakistan have occupation forces. It is the people of the Jammu and Kashmir from Gilgat to Lakhanpur who are the real master of their fate. In reply to a question he said it was very unfortunate that the separatist organisations could not get united despite sacrifices by 80,000 people and offered to merge his organisation with any other party for the larger interest of the unity. Mr Qureshi also criticised the coalition Government in the State and alleged that it had failed on all fronts. Human rights violations were going on, unemployment had increased and roads were in a bad shape, he said. (UNI)


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