Seminar rejects self-rule in Kashmir
29 January 2006
The Daily Times
Islamabad: Speakers at a seminar ‘Kashmir Issue, Stand and Deviation’ on Sunday rejected the ideas of self-governance and United States of Jammu and Kashmir and accused the Pakistani government of changing its stance on the Kashmir issue and termed the move a ‘retreat’. They said that Kashmiris wanted freedom in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions. Sardar Ejaz Afzal, the amir of Jamaat- e-Islami in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, in his presidential address said that unless the Kashmiris were not provided with the right of self- determination, there would be no peace in the region. He said Pakistan would remain incomplete geographically and ideologically without Kashmir. “The government of Pakistan has denied the freedom struggle of the Kashmiri people by ignoring the UN resolutions on Kashmir,” he said. Afzal said the ideas of a united states of Jammu and Kashmir and self-governance were meant to destroy the unity of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Maulana Abdul Gahfoor Haidery, the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal secretary-general, said the nation backed the idea that the Kashmir issue should be resolved in according with the aspirations of the Kashmiris. He said the Pakistani rulers had taken a u-turn on the issue. “If any other Kashmiri leader had talked about the third option on the issue, the rulers would have declared him a traitor but General Pervez Musharraf has brought many new options to resolve the Kashmir issue,” he said. He said Gen Musharraf had damaged the Kashmir cause besides violating the constitution and constitutional norms, which had caused unrest among the people. Syed Zafar Ali Shah, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior vice president, said that Gen Musharraf was acting like a policeman for the Pakistani nation. He said that being the chief of army staff, Gen Musharraf should have summoned the Peshawar corps commander to inquire about the US airstrike in Bajaur. Lt Gen (r) Hamid Gul, the former director general of the Inter-Services Intelligence, said Islamabad declaration was dangerous which further complicated the issue. He said the slogan of United States of Jammu and Kashmir was a decision of the US. He said the US airstrike on Bajaur clearly indicated that the chief of the army staff and the army had failed to fulfil their constitutional duties. Farooq Rehmani, the convener of All Parties Huriyat Conference (Geelani) AJK chapter, said the Indian leadership wanted to resolve the issue on its own terms.