'India and Pakistan must find new solution to Kashmir'
21 December 2005
The Daily Times
Islamabad: Speakers at a seminar on the possible solutions to the Kashmir conflict on Wednesday said that militancy was no longer an option in the ongoing freedom movement.They said that parliament should be consulted on the proposals made for the solution of Kashmir dispute and the government should get approval of political parties before presenting any offer to India. The seminar was arranged by the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT). PPP MNA Sherry Rehman said that parliament and civil society should be consulted on policies made on Kashmir.She said that parliamentary committees were the legitimate forums for consultation and for achieving consensus on the issue. 'The government continues to bypass the representative institutions.' She said the PPP had rejected military solution of Kashmir and Benazir Bhutto as prime minister had also rejected the Kargil operation. She said that the UN resolutions remain important and should not be taken lightly. However, at the same time there is a need for creative solutions in consultation with all stakeholders, including India and the Kashmiris, she said.Lt General (r) Talat Masood said that some people believed the UN resolutions on plebiscite in Kashmir were no longer valid. He quoted the UN secretary general as saying these resolutions had lost relevance. He said that in the post 9-11 scenario, international environment did not permit militancy against freedom struggle.Pakistan realises that militancy is no longer an option, that is why the government has put greater emphasis on a political solution to the issue, he said.MQM MNA Farooq Sattar said that Pakistan would have to be pragmatic towards the resolution of the Kashmir issue. He said all the stakeholders, including the army, were responsible for the quagmire. He said a new frame of thinking was required for a lasting solution, as the country could not continue to romanticise the UN resolutions. Increased dialogue, trade and mutual trust were the need of the hour, he added. Senator S M Zafar said he agreed with the notion that military solution was not an option for the resolution of the Kashmir dispute.He said that Pakistan had honoured its commitment made to India by taking steps to stop cross- border infiltration whereas India had not moved forward on demilitarisation and an end to human rights abuses in Held Kashmir. He suggested that Pakistan's parliament should demand India to demilitarise Kashmir and stop human rights violations there.He said the UN resolutions were still valid and applicable, however they didn't stop Pakistan and India from looking for creative solutions to resolve the issue.