January 2004 News

Kashmir solution sans Pakistan unacceptable

24 January 2004
The Nation
Our Monitoring Desk 

Lahore: Our Monitoring Desk Foreign Office spokesman Masood Ahmed Khan said on Saturday that Pakistan will not accept any solution to the Kashmir problem which will be decided by India and All Parties Hurriyat Conference alone. In an interview with the BBC, Masood Khan said that both President Gen Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali have made it clear that any Kashmir solution should be to the satisfaction of Pakistan, India and the Kashmiris as well because they are a principal party to the issue. 'One must understand that if Pakistan is excluded from any process then that solution will neither be workable nor successful,' he said and added, 'I think that if such an attempt is made then it will never prove resultoriented and will end in smoke.' Responding to a question, he said that Pakistan is not hiding anything as far as the Kashmir issue is concerned, adding 'the decision, which was taken in a recent meeting between President Pervez Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee on the sidelines of the SAARC summit in Islamabad, has been made public.' 'We have done nothing in a clandestine way,' he said. He further said that every attempt should be made to find an amicable and acceptable solution to the Kashmir dispute. He asked the APHC to create unity in its ranks and create such an atmosphere so that they (Kashmiri leaders) can represent the Kashmiris in a full fledged manner. Asked whether Pakistan has any role in arranging talks between the Indian government and the Abbas faction of APHC replied: 'The diplomatic replies are true and correct and I have responded in this spirit, adding that the Hurriyat faction did not consult Pakistan before holding talks with the Indian govt. He reminded that Indian Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani had extended invitation to the Abbas faction of APHC before historic talks between Musharraf and Vajpayee in Islamabad, saying that progress has been made as a result of talks between the Pakistani and Indian leaders. He further said that as far as Occupied Kashmir is concerned, the on-going violence should come to an end, the violation of human rights should be stopped and the political freedom should be restored there, adding that if there is some progress in this regard then it will be helpful in the talks which are going to take place between Pakistan and India next month. Replying to another question, Masood Khan said that President Musharraf's meeting with former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres in the lobby of a hotel in the Swiss city of Davos was just a coincidence and that it lasted for a few seconds only, adding that this does not mean that Pakistan has either changed or is due to review its policy towards Israel.


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