February 2004 News

Plebiscite Or Talks: Kashmiris Want Just Resolution Of Dispute: Qayyum

20 February 2004
The Pakistan Tribune

Islamabad: Showing some flexibly on stressing for the implementation of United Nations resolutions on Kashmir, former AJK Prime Minister Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan has said Kashmiris wanted resolution of the longstanding dispute in accordance with their aspirations, be it through the right of self-determination to the valley inhabitant or through the dialogue process. However, he urged Pakistan to ensure inclusion of genuine Kashmiri representatives in the forthcoming Pakistan-Indian dialogue on Kashmir scheduled in coming April or June as it was announced in a joint statement issued after Pakistani and Indian Foreign Secretaries met in Islamabad on Wednesday. In an exclusive interview with Online, the Kashmiri leader, commonly known as Mujahid Awal of Kashmir movement said Kashmiri people's inclusion in the negotiations as a party in the dispute is a must for the peaceful settlement of Kashmir imbroglio. However, he maintained that the matter must be left for the Kashmiris of the two sides alone as to who would represent Kashmiri people in talks. He said time will tell as to how sincere India is in resolving the bilateral dispute including the Kashmir issue through the dialogue process. Sardar Qayyum maintained for the composite dialogue, stage is well set as trade, rail and air links between the neighbouring states have already been restored. 'It's only the Kashmir dispute on which we have to see some tangible progress in the days to come', he said. He said if the forthcoming talks failed to achieve any substantial results on Kashmir, the assertion that India is not interested in settling bilateral differences with Pakistan and, 'dialogue process is a mere eyewash and Indian wants to gain time in the name of talks' will become true. Sardar Qayyum accused India of benefiting unduly from the present cordial atmosphere between the two countries . 'After ceasefire along LoC, the fencing along Line of Control (LoC), stepped-up excesses of Indian forces against Kashmiris, turning the local population into a minority through legislation speaks volumes for Indian mindset towards Kashmir issue', he said adding it should have been better for India not to go for these unpleasant developments. On the Muzaffarabad-Srinagar bus service, the Kashmiri leader said the initiation of bus service across the valley could win laurels from the Kashmiris if they were not asked for visa and passport like barriers. 'Accepting visa and passport restrictions for the traveling in two parts of the valley will send a wrong signal to the outer world that Kashmiris have accepted the LoC as permanent border between Pakistan and India', he argued. Sardar Qayyum questioned as to why we have been so eager to establish trade, tourism and cultural relations with the neighbouring Indian state . 'There must be no good ties with India at the cost of national interests', he said .


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