‘Militancy Should Continue To Resolve Dispute’ Sardar Qayyum
4 March 2008
Srinagar: Former prime minister of Pakistan administered Kashmir prime Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan Tuesday said that while gun brought Kashmir dispute to the limelight, it was time now for the politicians of the state to solve the 60- year-old issue. Addressing a press conference here today, Khan said, “Militancy was instrumental in nudging Kashmir back into limelight but in view of the prevailing domestic and international circumstances, politicians must now be given a frontal role to negotiate a peaceful and amicable settlement of the conundrum.” Taking a strong exception to the statement of the co-chairman of Peoples Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) Asif Ali Zardari, the supreme head of Muslim Conference, Khan warned that friendly relations between India and Pakistan would always be short-lived and unpredictable until the root cause of all problems – Kashmir issue – was resolved once for all. “Showing political maturity and acumen, Zardari must renounce his statement suggesting to set Kashmir aside for closer trade ties with India for it indicates that his views are shaped by post Shimla agreement thinking of Zulfiqar Bhutto to accord permanent status to Line of Control between the two sides,” Khan said. “Prior to issuing a policy statement on Kashmir he ought to consult us and the Kashmiris living on the other side who are the principal party to the dispute.” Virtual non-existence of militancy, Sardar Qayyum asserted, will offer India an opening to pull out troops from Kashmir only to falsely project the Kashmiris’ willingness to be a part of the Indian union. “Militancy therefore should remain, though in hibernation, a force to reckon with for forcing India to agree on a negotiated settlement of the issue,” he proposed while elaborating the future role of militancy. Commenting on the possibility of an in-house change at Muzaffarabad following the electoral defeat of the mentors of the prime minister Sardar Attique Ahmad Khan in Pakistan, Khan said, the survival of a government in PaK cannot be connected with political developments in Pakistan.