‘Don’t’ Give Provincial Status To GB’

‘Don’t’ Give Provincial Status To GB’

21 December 2012
Rising Kashmir
Muhammad Aslam Mir

Srinagar: The Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Friday urged Pakistan not to give provincial status to Gilgit Baltistan (GB) as such a move would pave way for India to make Ladakh one of its provinces. “When we talk about Kashmir we talk of 1947 Jammu and Kashmir. Our movement is indigenous and Kashmiris have sacrificed a lot during last 20 years. We urge Pakistan not to give provincial status to Gilgit Baltistan (GB) as such a move would pave way for India to make Ladakh one of its provinces,” Mirwiaz said while delivering a lecture on “Resolution of Kashmir Issue in the new Geo-Political environment” at National Defence University (NDU), here. He said Indian establishment and political leadership is misleading their public by saying that if they give independent status to Jammu and Kashmir, it would lead to disintegration of India. “It is not a realistic approach on part of India”. “We are in favour of trade and people-to-people contact between Pakistan and India. However, it should not be at the cost of people of Jammu and Kashmir and their right to self-determination,” Mirwaiz said. He urged the world community to shun double standards in solving the 65-year-old Kashmir dispute. “When the world community is solving Afghanistan, Middle East and other issues, why they are silent over Kashmir issue?” he questioned. The Hurriyat (M) chairman said people of Kashmir were determined to continue their struggle till they are granted right to self determination. “Our struggle is not against Indian people or the State. Our struggle is peaceful and we never believe in confrontation but the presence of military in the area changes the scenario”. Hailing the steps taken by Pakistan in solving the Kashmir issue, he said, “Pakistan has always talked about Kashmir issue. They are committed for the referendum and dialogue as per aspirations of Kashmiri people. Pakistan’s support to the Kashmir cause has always been unconditional,” he said adding Kashmiris being the major stakeholder of the issue must be involved in future India-Pakistan talks. He opined that there were two main things - aspirations of Kashmiris and their grievances. “India is focusing on the second part and totally ignoring the first one. India tried to project elections as an alternative to self-determination but could not succeed”. Terming the developments on Kashmir issue as pragmatic, Mirwaiz said in view of constantly changing geo-political environment, they were optimistic that the long pending dispute would definitely be solved as per the wishes of the people. The management of the National Defence University presented shields to the visiting Hurriyat (M) delegation.