January 2005 News

US should not be asked to mediate, says AJK president

10 January 2005
The Daily Times

Islamabad: Speakers at a round table conference on the Kashmir issue on Monday demanded that the government review its Kashmir policy and said that Kashmiris should be included in the dialogue process immediately. 'The right of self-determination is the only and the best solution of the Kashmir issue,' the participants observed.The Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Maj Gen (r) Sardar Anwar Khan said in his address that the issue of Kashmir could not be resolved with bilateral talks and both sides should include the Kashmiri people in the dialogue process. He suggested that Pakistan should not ask the US to mediate because the US had declared that the freedom movement of the Kashmiris was a terrorist movement. 'Pakistan should ask the United Nations Security Council to help resolve the Kashmir issue,' he added. He said diplomacy could only work when there was a force behind it. He said Pakistanis were happy that the US had declared Pakistan a non-NATO ally but it had also declared India a strategic partner. There is a lesson to be learnt from this, he added.Khan said Pakistan should review its Kashmir policy. 'India has engaged Pakistan in composite dialogue to gain time because India is not serious about resolving the Kashmir issue,' he added. Masood Khan, the Foreign Office spokesman, said that the whole nation was united on the Kashmir issue and Pakistan would not accept any solution of the Kashmir issue without the consent of the Kashmiri people. He added that Pakistan was trying its best to ensure the participation of Kashmiri people in the dialogue process but the Indian government was not ready to allow Kashmiri participation. AJK Prime Minister Sardar Skindar Hayat Khan said Pakistan should trust the Kashmiri leadership. 'I cannot deliver a speech at any international forum until and unless somebody from the government has approved its content,' he said. He added that we trust President General Pervez Musharraf but he should not show any more flexibility on the Kashmir issue. He also said that the Indian government should be persuaded to hold a plebiscite in held Kashmir. Abdus Satar, a former foreign minister, said India did not want to resolve the Kashmir issue because it feared that other separatist movements would become stronger as a result. He said the continuation of the composite dialogue was necessary to resolve the issue of Kashmir peacefully.


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