Indo-Pak Affairs

Self-determination denial generates unrest among Kashmiris; Attique

LONDON: Prime Minister of AJK Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan Prime Minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir has observed that continued denial of self-determination right to the Kashmiris was causing unrest and anger among the Kashmiris and called for acceleration of ongoing peace process between Pakistan and India.

“Kashmiris want a peaceful negotiated resolution of the Kashmir dispute. They want to be bridge of peace between two nuclear neighbors of Pakistan and India. Their offer should be taken as a helpful opportunity for Kashmir solution”, he reiterated in his keynote address to the London Borough Council of Walthamforest as chief guest here on Sunday.

Mayor Liaquat Ali presided. He and Councillors Clide Lokus, Jannet, Sinclare and others in their frank speeches welcomed the visit of the prime minister to their council assuring moral and political support to the right of self-determination of the Kashmiris. Walthamforest Council was the first Council who had passed a unanimous resolution extending support to Kashmiris self-determination right, the Mayor informed.

Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan lauded the policy announcement of Prime Minister of Pakistan Makhdoom Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani that efforts would be accelerated for a negotiated settlement of Kashmir and that the sacrifices of Kashmiris would not go waste.

“Kashmiris hope that the new democratic evolution in Pakistan would be helpful in pushing forward the process of negotiations on Kashmir between Pakistan and India. Kashmiris believe that Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani who is a seasoned politician and statesman of far-sighted vision would accord new impetus to the peace process in South Asia aiming at Kashmir resolution”, he added.

“Our simple demand is to root out the cause of recurring turbulence and bloodshed. Unsolved Kashmir dispute is the basic cause. That needs a remedy. Implementation of right of self-determination to Kashmiris is the right panacea. That should be made available, sooner the better. With Kashmir dispute is tied the political destiny of over 1.3 million Kashmiris. Kashmiris are not against the legitimate regional or international interests of any country in South Asia. We neither want turbulence nor disorder. Our avowed preference is for peace And peace channels cross through Kashmir”, he added.

He demanded opening of entire Jammu and Kashmir for Kashmiris to cross and meet one another. Trade, tourism and travel should be restriction-free. The pre-1947 State of Jammu and Kashmir should be declared as nuclear free region”, he added. The AJK prime minister recounted the role of the international community, NGOs and humanitarian organizations in providing relief assistance to the affectees of the 2005 earthquake saying the United Kingdom had pledged an amount of 480 million pounds. He thanked for this gesture.

The prime minister urged the Kashmiri diaspora (immigrants) to mould themselves into the social, economic, political and collective standards of their host society without harming their beliefs and personal affiliations. “I am happy that immigrants communities in the UK. are law-abiding subscribing to the requirements of the British social and legal order”, he added.

Explaining an impression the prime minister of Azad Kashmir said that Kashmir dispute was alive on the UN agenda. It is the topic of the international conferences in all the influential capitals of the world. The European Parliament is holding a 2-day global discourse on Kashmir on April 1 and 2 in Brussels. I am participating in this important discourse. President Bill Clinton had described Kashmir as world’s most dangerous dispute. In 2003 Pakistan declared a unilateral ceasefire in Kashmir. In September 2004 President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister of India had declared in New York in their joint statement to seek a sincere and purposeful solution to this dispute. President Musharraf had offered fresh approaches to solve Kashmir. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had declared in July 2007 to observer “zero tolerance” for human rights violations in occupied Kashmir and to “turn the LoC into the Line of Peace”.

Gifts were also exchanged between Prime Minister Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan and Mayor Liaquat Ali. The Premier gave media interviews expressing the hope that Kashmir would not be pushed back at all. “The whole international community wants a peaceful and negotiated resolution of Kashmir. They want involvement of Kashmiris with negotiations”, he explained.

The prime minister also addressed a Milad meeting at Walthamforest Council Hall and urged sincere emulation of Prophet Muhammad (SLM)’s practices and precepts. Ulema including Pir Abdul Qadir Gilani also addressed.

Earlier on arrival the Prime Minister was accorded enthusiastic welcome at Heathrow airport by the Muslim Conferences and Muslim Youth Wing office holders, including Advisor Major (Rtd) Mansab Dad Khan, Raja Aftab Sharif, Raja Amin, Raja Iftikhar, Shahid Malik, Mushtaq Jarral, Addl Secretary General MC Fida Hussain Kiani and others.

The Prime Minister is accompanied by his Principal Secretary Munir Hussain Chaudhry, Media Advisor Hameed Shaheen and Staff Officer Azmat Baig. A large number of Kashmiri-Pakistani community members delegation also called on the prime minister and hailed his new initiative of Green and Skilled Kashmir under which the youth could be given larger space of economic engagements in Azad Kashmir.-SANA

About the author

Rubab Saleem

Rubab Saleem is Editor of Pakistan Times

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