July 2000 News

No role in Hizbul offer: Pak.

29 July 2000
Muralidhar Reddy

Islamabad: Pakistan today maintained that it will be to the benefit and advantage of the entire region and the world if India responded positively to the ceasefire announcement made by the Hizbul Mujahideen. At a news conference on ''questions about developments relating to the struggle of the Kashmiri people'', a Pakistani Foreign Office spokesman said that India did not have to wait for any opportunity to respond positively to the ''aspirations of Kashmiris and allow them their right to self- determination''. There was no reference to the Hizbul offer in the one-page written statement read out by the spokesman. He said Pakistan favoured the resumption of dialogue with India and the position of Pakistan was clear. ''We have stated this on several occasions and at various levels.'' He said Pakistan had consistently pursued a negotiated solution in accordance with the United Nations decisions. The statement said Pakistan recognised the All-Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC) as the true representative of the Kashmiris and endorsed its demand for involvement in any Indo- Pak. dialogue on Kashmir. ''Pakistan is closely following events since the Indian decision to release the APHC leaders, which was a positive development. Since then, the APHC leadership has maintained unity of response to Indian contacts with individual APHC leaders. They have maintained a firm position on the principles of their legitimate struggle for self-determination, which is fully supported by Pakistan,'' it said. It noted the observations by the Chief Executive, Gen. Pervez Musharaff, while addressing the envoys conference two days ago reaffirming Pakistan''s resolve to support the ''freedom struggle of Kashmiri people under all circumstances'' and centrality of the Kashmiri issue to peace and security of the region. Asked about the ceasefire by the Indian forces, the spokesman said ''we do not know the ground situation and therefore we are not in a position to comment''. He denied any decision by Pakistan to observe ceasefire on the Line of Control. He said Pakistan did not have any role in the Hizbul ceasefire and maintained that his country did not exercise any control over ''freedom-fighters''. The spokesman said Pakistan Government was not aware of any TRACK II endeavour which culminated in the latest developments in Kashmir. Asked about media reports on involvement of some prominent Pakistanis in U.S., the spokesman said that there could be individual efforts.


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