March 2016 News

Pakistan Says No Change In Position On Kashmir

10 March 2016
Kashmir Reader

Islamabad: While strongly condemning the 'brutality of Indian forces in Jammu and Kashmir', Pakistan said on Thursday that it has not changed its principled stance on Kashmir issue and would continue to raise the issue at every fora. 'Whenever there are talks between India and Pakistan, Kashmir issue would remain on agenda,' Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Nafees Zakaria told the weekly news briefing. 'Pakistan strongly condemns human rights violations in Kashmir,' she said. Zakaria said that incidents such as the anti-Pakistan campaign on the eve of Pakistan cricket team's visit to India are counter-productive to efforts aimed at reducing tensions. 'Sports and other functions, including arts and cultural events, help in promoting people to people contacts between the two countries', the spokesman said. Responding to a question Zakaria said, 'Indian high commission and its consulates are independent in granting visas to Pakistan and if there are refusals then the FO would take it up with Indian government.' The spokesman said Pakistan has joined the 34-state Islamic military coalition to fight terrorism and extremism which poses danger to the Muslim world's peace. Pakistan's High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit had said on Monday that there is no change in Islamabad's Kashmir policy, adding the resolution of Kashmir issue in accordance to the wishes and aspirations of its people 'is the established policy of Pakistan'. Basit made these remarks while meeting the Hurriyat Conference (M) Chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq at Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi. 'There was no change in Islamabad's policy relating to Jammu Kashmir including Kashmir, Jammu, Ladakh, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan,' a spokesman of Hurriyat (M) in a statement quoted Basit as having said. He said Mirwaiz, in his meeting with Basit, termed the Government of Pakistan's efforts for a 'just' and permanent solution of Kashmir as encouraging. 'A just solution of vexed Kashmir issue could end tensions in the subcontinent and secure the future of over a billion people of South Asia. It will also bring stability and economic prosperity to the region.' Also, at a talk organised by The Telegraph newspaper, Basit had described Kashmir as the 'core issue'.