Pak Islamic Bloc harp on plebiscite for Kashmir
24 October 2002
The Indian Express
K.J. Varma (Press Trust of India)
Islamabad: Religious hardliners in Pakistan have insisted on ''right of self- determination for Kashmiris'' to resolve the Kashmir issue, even as they allayed fears over their electoral success with assurances that they would abide by all international agreements and would not let Pakistan emerge as a ''pariah state''. Leaders of six-party Mutahida Majlis-e-Amal on Wednesday invited diplomats from various countries including India, US, Europe and the Gulf for a get-together where in they assured that if they formed the government they would adhere to all agreements reached with different countries. In reply to a question by the Indian Deputy High Commissioner Sudhir Vyas, MMA''s prime ministerial candidate Maulana Fazlur Rahman said, ''Pakistan and its people have a clear policy on Kashmir as they want its solution according to the UN resolutions and under the spirit of the Simla Agreement.'' ''We invite India to come to a bilateral dialogue to settle this long-standing issue on the basis of justice as the right to self-determination to the Kashmiris was also admitted by late Indian Prime Minister Nehru,'' Rahman said. Vyas, told reporters ''we discern attempts to back away from the commitments Pakistan has made to the international community.'' About Pakistan''s Cabinet resolution promising not to let the territory of the country to be used for committing terrorism abroad, Qurshid Ahmad, senior leader of the Jamat Islami and chairman of the Institute of Policy Studies replied that ''the future policy would be decided by the new Parliament.'' However according to accounts published in local media, MMA leaders said the alliance condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and would not allow anyone to use Pakistan''s soil for this purpose. Earlier assuring the world community of its commitment to abide by all international conventions and agreements, the alliance''s senior leader and chief of Jamat Islami, Qazi Hussain Ahmed said, ''We want fraternal relationship with all countries and do not want to become a pariah state.'' He also sought to dispel the impression about jehad saying the term means an utmost endeavour for peace and justice for oppressed against the oppressor: ''Protection of faith, life, property, human dignity and honour of a human being is the basic objection of Islamic Shariah,'' Ahmed said. Rehman, assured that MMA would follow balance policies and would not be rigid. Ahmed told the diplomats that the focal point of its politicking was the 1973 Constitution and asserted that all the constitutional amendments brought in by the Musharraf government should be ratified by the Parliament which he considered as supreme.