Kashmiris feel let down by Pakistan: UJC

23 September 2008
The News International
Mumtaz Alvi

ISLAMABAD: The United Jihad Council (UJC) on Tuesday cautiously welcomed Pak-India accord on cross LoC trade, reminding Islamabad not to set aside Kashmir, the core issue between the two countries. 'Kashmiris are not opposed to trade relations between Pakistan and India, but the core issue of the Kashmiris' right to self-determination must in no way be ignored,' emphasized the UJC Central Spokesman Ehsan Elahi while talking to The News here on phone. He contended that the possible friendship between the two neighbours should lead to some relief for Kashmiris, ultimately paving the way for resolution of the decades-old problem. UJC or Muttahida Jihad Council is a conglomeration of mainstream political and armed Kashmiri groups, which has been active on both fronts for the freedom of Kashmir. The UJC spokesman pointed out that Kashmiris had never opposed efforts aimed at forging Pak-India friendship, but it should not be at the cost of Kashmiris' political future. In reply to a question, he said for the last 60 years, Kashmiris had been promised tangible progress towards a just settlement of the issue. However, contrary to it, their life continued to undergo untold agony. Kidnapping, torture and killing of innocent civilians was going on without any break, he added. About newly-elected President Asif Ali Zardari's maiden address to the joint sitting of parliament, he said they were expecting condemnation of the fresh wave of Indian aggression on Kashmiris but were disappointed to listen to a traditional rhetoric from the head of the state.