Kashmiris Be Briefed On Pros, Cons Of MFN: Fazl

Kashmiris Be Briefed On Pros, Cons Of MFN: Fazl

5 February 2012
Daily Times


Islamabad: Kashmiri leaders have reservations over granting Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India, so the government should take Kashmiris onboard before granting the status, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief and Kashmir Committee Chairman Fazlur Rehman said on Saturday. He was talking to the media outside the Parliament House following his meeting with Kashmir’s leadership. “The government should satisfy Kashmiris on this issue and listen to what they have to say,” Fazl said. Earlier, Fazlur Rehman headed a meeting of the committee, which was attended among others by former Azad Kashmir prime minister and Hurriyat Conference members. The Kashmiri leadership remained adamant on its stance on the MFN status despite briefing by Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim hours before the chairman’s media talk. The JUI-F chief said the people from the valley had always safeguarded Pakistan’s interests, and that they never wanted the country to sacrifice its interests for their sake. “The Kashmiri leadership is of view that a balanced policy should be devised regarding trade ties with India so that the interests of Kashmiris and Pakistan are not hurt,” he maintained. He said he would inform the government regarding the reservations of the Kashmiri people. “I will ask the foreign and commerce ministries to hold meetings with Kashmiri leaders,” he said, adding that the National Kashmir Committee had prepared recommendations for convening a joint sitting of the foreign and trade ministries and the Kashmiri leadership on the issue. He also vowed to continue supporting the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination. Fazl also condemned the arrest of a Kashmiri activist, Ghulam Nabi Fai, who was imprisoned for supporting Kashmiris. He stressed the need for having good relations with India, saying that all outstanding issues needed to be resolved through meaningful dialogues. To a question, Fazl said the meeting of the committee had also discussed political aspects of improving relations with India. To another question, he said he favoured sincere and fruitful talks with India on all issues.