May 2000 News

Kashmiri leaders should accept Indian offer of dialogue

28 May 2000
News International

Karachi: A peaceful solution of the Kashmir issue is the need of the hour and Kashmiri leaders in the Indian held Kashmir should accept the Indian offer of dialogue without insisting upon the involvement of Pakistan in the negotiations. Chief Organiser All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference (AJKMC) Sardar Ateeq Ahmad Khan said this while addressing a press conference on Sunday at Kashmir Hosue - office of AJKMC Sindh-Balochistan chapter - on the conclusion of his two-day visit to Karachi. ''Kashmiris should not miss the opportunity and give positive response to the Indian offer. If India is sincere in resolving the issue then we will get benefit from it and if it is not then we can expose the real face of India to the world,'' he added. Sardar Ateeq said Kashmiri leaders should avoid urging India to involve Pakistan in the negotiations because it might affect Pakistan''s position on international level. ''The only way to resolve Kashmir issue is dialogue. It will cost the entire world a lot if the issue is settled in the battlefield. A peaceful solution to the problem is essential not only for Kashmiri people but it would be in favour of the entire world,'' he maintained. People of Azad Kashmir extended full moral support to the leadership of All Parties Hurriyyat Conference, he said adding that they (Azad Kashmiris) were in favour of negotiations with India as it would go in favour of the Kashmiris because they had a strong position in the case. He said 0.8 million Indian soldiers had completely failed to achieve the goals for India in occupied Kashmir. He said entire India would be engulfed by numerous freedom movements if it denied justice to the people in held Kashmir. Sardar Ateeq criticised the statement of Prime Minister Azad Kashmir Sultan Mahmood in which he reportedly demanded withdrawal of dual right of vote enjoyed by Kashmiri Muhajireen and termed it a conspiracy against Kashmir freedom movement. He said instead of withdrawing the dual right of vote the government should facilitate Muhajireen by making simpler the procedure of issuance of identity cards to them and enrolment of their names in voter lists. He urged Pakistan government to start preparation of general elections in Azad Kashmir and ensure holding of fair and transparent elections, which would strengthen Pakistan''s position on Kashmir issue.


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