MMA not to accept any bargain on Kashmir issue
30 January 2004
The News International
KARACHI: The member of National Assembly and President Muttahida Majlis-e- Amal (MMA), Sindh chapter, Asadullah Bhutto, has said they will not accept any bargain on the Kashmir issue nor will they accept a formula against the wishes of the Kashmiris. 'The whole nation assures the Kashmiris of their continued favour,' said Bhutto while speaking at an All Parties Conference (APC) on the issue of 'Deviation from National Stand on Kashmir Issue - Unacceptable' held on Friday. Bhutto demanded involvement of the Kashmiris in the talks between India and Pakistan scheduled for next month for the settlement of the Kashmir issue. 'A few small groups are not the true representatives of the Kashmiris,' he said. He said the United Nations resolutions on Kashmir are still effective, and setting them aside is tantamount to deviating from the national policy. 'Pakistani rulers can do this, but the national will not,' he said. 'Kashmir is not just a territory, it's an international issue, which is important for Pakistan from religious, political and economic perspectives,' he said In his address, former federal minister and PPP leader Prof ND Khan said there are three parties to the Kashmir issue - Pakistan, India and the Kashmiris. None should be neglected while settling the Kashmir issue, he added. Since the issue could not be resolved despite the UN resolutions, it needed talks for its resolution, he said and expressed the confidence that the talks would bear fruit provided the Pakistan side stuck to its long-standing stance on the issue. 'But the government is a big impediment to the solution to the Kashmir issue, as General Musharraf has no legal position and thus the authority to take any decision alone,' he said and called for national consensus and parliament stamping on the issue. Politician Mairaj Muhammad Khan said that if Pakistan showed any weakness on the basic issue, the Kashmiris would continue their struggle. No one could decide the fate of the Kashmiris and no solution against their wishes would be effective, he warned. MMA leader Allama Hasan Turabi said the situation would aggravate further if any formula unacceptable to the Kashmiris was accepted. 'The process of turning heroes into zeros should be stooped,' he added. On the occasion, Mir Hazar Khan Marwat said the rulers would have to pay for the U-turn taken on the issues of Kashmir and Afghanistan. 'Jihad is being labelled as terrorism and infiltration,' he regretted, calling for a parliament-approved approach during the talks on Kashmir. Khan Amanullah Khan said the United States was strengthening India's defence position and trying to get Pakistan's atomic programme rolled back. Basharat Mirza said Kashmir is a matter of life and death for the Pakistanis, and the government must not accept any external pressure on the issue. Others who spoke on the occasion included MNA Muhammad Hussain Mahanti, Sheikh Rafiq Ahmed, Hafiz Muhammad Taqi, Jamshed Ahmed Khan, Mehfooz Yar Khan, Zia Abbas, Abdul Sami Khan and Habib Junaidi.