February 2008 News

Pakistan wants peaceful settlement of Kashmir dispute: Maleeha

6 February 2008
The News International

LONDON: Pakistan will continue its political, moral and diplomatic support for the people of occupied Kashmir to help them realise their cherished goal of right to self-determination. 'We mark this day to pay tributes to our Kashmiri brothers and sisters who have struggled so heroically for the last 60 years for their freedom and right to self-determination and in this struggle more than 90,000 people have sacrificed their lives. This is a just cause and we are convinced that those sacrifices have not gone in vain,' said Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK Dr Maleeha Lodhi while speaking at the Kashmir Solidarity Day function held at the High Commission on Tuesday evening. She said the day is observed throughout Pakistan to renew its pledge and reiterate resolve and to commit themselves to the peaceful struggle for the Kashmiri people. The high commissioner said Pakistan has made it clear that it wants to seek a peaceful negotiated settlement of the issue with India. 'In doing so we have been guided by three principles which are that the status quo cannot be the basis of resolution, violent methods suppress people and the use of force and fraud by India will not succeed, any solution that emerges from the peace process has to be acceptable to the people of Kashmir.' She said this message has been conveyed to India several times that the people of Kashmir must be involved in the peace process and made party in determining their own destination. She said Pakistan has been conducting composite dialogue with India and this dialogue as far as Kashmiris are concerned has two aspects to it. One concerns the final negotiation and the second one to address living conditions of the people living in the occupied valley. Dr Lodhi underscored the importance of greater interaction between the Kashmir leadership living across the Line of Control and said Pakistan has been encouraging such a move to bring the people together.

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