Pakistan Remains Committed To Kashmir Issue’s Just, Peaceful Resolution: PM

2 June 2009
Associated Press of Pakistan

Islamabad: Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani on Tuesday said the Kashmir dispute holds the key to durable peace in South Asia, and said Pakistan remains committed to finding its just and peaceful resolution in accordance with UN Security Council’s resolutions and aspirations of Kashmiri people. In his policy statement at the 43rd session of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Council here, the Prime Minister who is also its Chairman, stressed the need to resolve Kashmir issue through sincere dialogue in order to open up vast opportunities for the socio-economic development of the region. The session was attended by President Azad Jammu and Kashmir Raja Zulqarnain Khan, Prime Minister of AJK Sardar Muhammad Yaqub Khan, Federal Minister for KANA and SAFRON Qamar Zaman Kaira, and members of AJK Council. Prime Minister Gilani said Pakistan extends political, moral, and diplomatic support to Kashmiri people for their right to self-determination. “We firmly believe that for a durable solution, Kashmiris should be associated with the dialogue process,” he said. He said Pakistan would like to engage in a constructive and purposeful dialogue with India to resolve the issue. He said the government had continued the process of confidence building in Kashmir as it helped bring relief to Kashmiris including the divided families. He said Pakistan had been constructively engaged with India under the Composite Dialogue process to discuss issues related to Jammu and Kashmir. Gilani mentioned the already implemented Kashmir-related Confidence Building Measures including operationalization of crossing points and bus service across the Line of Control, with frequency of bus service between Srinagar-Muzaffabad and Poonch-Rawalakot increased from fortnightly to weekly. He said the cross LoC trade has commenced, and the CBMs had been guided by the desire to reduce the sufferings of Kashmiris and help create an environment conducive for the settlement of this dispute. Gilani said following the Mumbai incident, India had put a ‘pause’ on the Composite Dialogue, while Pakistan had stressed the need for its engagement and resumption. “We have impressed upon India that focus of the efforts of the two countries should remain on countering terrorism which is the real issue and not mutual recrimination,” he said. Gilani said Pakistan had demonstrated its readiness to engage constructively with India to resolve this longstanding dispute. “We hope that the peace process would resume soon and become result oriented in addressing all outstanding issues including the issue of Jammu and Kashmir,” he added. The Prime Minister said, “We also hope that the Indian occupying forces will cease human rights abuses, violence will come to an end and a conducive atmosphere will be created for a final settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.” He said the people of Kashmir were promised the right to determine their own destiny, which was embodied in the UN resolutions adopted during the late forties and fifties. He expressed concern that the solemn commitment was remained unfulfilled with continuation of the sufferings of the Kashmiris. Gilani urged the international community to redeem its promise made to the Kashmiri people. He mentioned the indigenous uprising in Indian occupied Kashmir which was ignited by Amarnath Shrine land issue last year, that added another sad chapter to the sufferings of Kashmiri people. He said the Kashmiris were subjected to a prolonged economic blockade, while many were martyred including Sheikh Abdul Aziz, a prominent Hurriyet leader. “These events are a reflection of the indigenous struggle of the Kashmiri people for ‘Azadi’. In that hour of trial and struggle, the government and the people of Pakistan stood with their Kashmiri brethren,” he said. Gilani said the leadership of Pakistan always condemned the use of force and demanded respect for human rights of the people of Kashmir. “The Parliament of Pakistan passed resolutions expressing solidarity of the people of Pakistan with their Kashmiri brethren. These statements and resolutions are a true reflection of the sentiments of the entire Pakistani nation,” he added.