Kashmir’s Liberation Pak Responsibility: Zardari5 January 2010
Muzaffarabad: Reaffirming his country’s full support to Kashmiris, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has reiterated that peace and stability in south Asian region was directly linked to amicable settlement of the Kashmir dispute and Kashmir’s liberation is the responsibility of Pakistan and its people. In his maiden address to the joint session of the AJK Assembly and the Kashmir Council, Zardari urged the global superpowers to come forward and facilitate the settlement of the Kashmir dispute. “World’s superpowers will have to soon make serious decisions about the Kashmir problem, as the regional peace is closely linked to the resolution of the decades-old issue with India,” he said and added that the time will soon come when all the world’s superpowers (and countries) in this region will have to sit and talk about Kashmir and make serious decisions. “I believe the victory will be that of the Kashmiris,” he said and added: “If world community is concerned over the situation in Pakistan, they will have to address the issue of Kashmir too as the regional peace is directly linked to the settlement of the festering dispute.” He said India wanted to suppress the voice of the Kashmiri people through use of force. He said fighting for Kashmir’s liberation was Pakistan’s responsibility and the freedom struggle for independence of Kashmir is obligatory for every individual in the country. “Kashmir will also be liberated from Indian occupation as the Pakistan was once achieved,” he said. He said that the democratic government in Pakistan will continue its unconditional support to Kashmir cause as “Kashmiris are our family, our essence and the jugular vein of Pakistan.” “Its my obligation to let the Kashmiris get their right of self determination so that they could decide their future themselves,” Zardari said. He said Pakistan wants the peaceful solution of Kashmir, adding that this will guarantee permanent peace in the region. “Pakistan wants good relations with its neighbour India. Kashmir has an important place in Pakistan’s foreign policy,” he said and added that regional peace would not be possible without the Kashmir dispute’s resolution. The President told the session that a committee on Kashmir Affairs had also been constituted. He also announced a countrywide increase in number of seats for medical students from the region. Zardari said that Pakistan People’s Party has the relations with the people of AJK for three generations and, he added, this bond would further strengthen in coming days. We are the witness to the statement of Shaheed Zulifkar Ali Bhutto that “we will fight for the independence of Kashmir, if it takes almost 1000 years and the dream of the completion of Pakistan will not be completed without the independence of Kashmir.” Zardari said his father, Hakim Ali Zardari, participated in the war of independence of Kashmir fought in 1948. Zardari announced the package for the sixty thousands families which had been affected by the increase in the length of Mangla Dam. He also announced that Rs 10 million would be given to the each member of the parliament for the development of their areas. Concluding his speech Zardari uttered his favourite slogan “Pakistan Khappay and Kashmir Khappay”. Speaking on the occasion, Prime minister, Raja Farooq Haider Khan said that the respective governments of Pakistan have always rendered unflinching supported to Kashmir cause and “we hope the incumbent democratic dispensation in the centre would lend all out support to Kashmiris’ legitimate struggle”. He noted regrettably that world community has not played its due role to seek settlement of the decade’s long old dispute. Terming sustainable democracy as paramount he said that the political parties in AJK and Pakistan will not allow it to be derailed. About Indian Army chief’s recent statement he urged that Pakistan should take cognisance of such statements and adopt a coherent policy to counter threats emanating from other side of the border. Khan stressed the need for revisiting the wisdom on Kashmir and urged that a joint session of Parliament and senate should be convened soon to review the policy on Kashmir so as to send a positive signal across the border. About the devolution package for the people of Gilgit Baltistan, he thanked the president for granting democratic rights to the people of the area. However, the AJK premier said, “We have some reservations with regard to system-model of the governance that needs to be addressed at the earliest so that no body could exploit it at international level”. While chairing the session, speaker AJK Assembly Shah Ghulam Qadir thanked the president for his visit to the region and expressed the optimism that the central government would make all out efforts to resolve the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the aspirations of Kashmiri people. Besides Zardari, the special session was attended by AJK President Raja Zulqarnain Khan, Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan, federal ministers, legislators and the representative of All Parties Hurriyat Conference.