‘I am PM of both Kashmirs’
16 August 2006
Muzaffarabad: AJK Prime Minister Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan has said he believes he is the prime minister of the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir although administratively he is exercising authority in one of its divided parts. “I am the prime minister of aar paar (both sides of Kashmir). Whether I can do anything for them or not but every citizen of the entire state of Kashmir has right to consider me his prime minister,” he said at a reception hosted in his honour by renowned Kashmiri leader Tanveerul Islam. A number of prominent Kashmiris, including several ministers, attended the reception. Mr Islam, a former chairman of the United Jihad Council, currently runs educational and welfare projects under the banner of Sawera Foundation for the children of Kashmiri martyrs, refugees and internally displaced AJK people and widows. Mr Khan paid tributes to Kashmiri martyrs saying they had sacrificed their lives for a great cause and the nation and history could never forget their role and sacrifices. Asking India to let the Kashmiris live according to their free will, he expressed optimism that sooner or later New Delhi would have to succumb to Kashmiris legitimate demands. He also threw his support behind the trans-LoC trade and exchange of delegations between the divided parts of Kashmir. “There should be mutual trade among all those units of Kashmir which President Gen Pervez Musharraf has identified. Besides, delegations of parliamentarians, students, lawyers and people from other walks of life should also move across freely,” he said. However, he stressed that India should change the status of its occupied territory from a military concentration camp to a civilian populated area.