July 2001 News

JKLF slams Pak Kashmir policy

29 July 2001
The Times of India

London: Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), an organisation espousing the cause of independent Kashmir, has charged Pakistan with adopting a ''dual policy on Kashmir to suit its own motives.'' ''Pakistani policy on Kashmir is like teeth of an elephant, the tusk is to gain international sympathy while the actual teeth are to eat Kashmiris,'' Shabir Chaudhury, former JKLF president and a member of the outfit''s supreme council, said here. He said Pakistan authorities have been on the ''rampage'' trampling rights in the areas under Islamabad''s occupation. ''Though on one side, Pakistan claims to be very concerned about Kashmiris, on other it simply denies the freedom lovers right to contest the elections held in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir,'' he said. Defending the decision of JKLF to boycott the invitation of the tea party hosted for Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf during his visit to New Delhi, Chaudhury said: ''We don''t intend to create a storm in a cup of tea but can anyone define the utility of this exercise.'' ''Musharraf should first seek mandate from people of Pakistan before talking on international issues,'' he said and contended that Musharraf''s meeting with Hurriyat leaders was only to project himself as a Kashmir representative in the international fora. Chaudhury said Musharraf should understand that Kashmiris were not fighting for their rights against India alone but also against Pakistan as the ''independent Kashmir'' is the only viable option. Stating that JKLF was not against the talks between India and Pakistan, he said ''the two countries have to solve issues like Sir Creek, nuclearisation of sub-continent, de-militarisation and other aspects bilaterally but when it comes to Kashmir, involvement of people is important.'' ''What we are asking India and Pakistan is only to seek the opinion of Kashmiris and nothing more,'' Chaudhury said. He castigated Pakistan for denouncing the rights of people living in Gilgit and Baltistan. ''People in this region have not been even given the right of voting,'' he said. The JKLF leader said that Pakistan, before raising the bogey of Kashmir, should look at its ''own deeds'' and make attempts to set them right.


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