November 2002 News

''No bargain on Kashmir issue''

30 November 2002
The Hindu
B. Muralidhar Reddy

ISLAMABAD: Close on the heels of the declaration by the Pakistan President, Pervez Musharraf, that the new government would follow the same Kashmir policy, the Prime Minister, Mir Zafrullah Khan Jamali, today asserted that there would be no ''bargain'' on the Kashmir issue. He told the Prime Minister of Pak-occupied Kashmir, Sikandar Hayat Khan, at a meeting here that his Government would continue the political, diplomatic and moral support to Kashmiris ''fighting for right to self- determination.'' Mr. Jamali said the people of Pakistan fully supported the Kashmiris in their ''heroic struggle'' and maintained that Pakistanis could not even think of ''compromising'' on the issue. He also claimed that Kashmir was the ''jugular vein'' of Pakistan. Mr. Jamali told Mr. Khan that he would visit PoK in the third week of December during which he would address the Legislative Assembly and the joint sitting of the PoK Council consisting of top Pakistani civil and military officials. Libya''s support sought Gen. Musharraf has urged Libya to consider if it could play a ''constructive role'' in persuading India for a dialogue to resolve the Kashmir issue. He was talking to Sief el Islam Qaddafi, son of Muammar Qaddafi, who is now on a visit here. Gen. Musharraf briefed the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and told him that Muslim countries like Libya could play a constructive role in urging India to respond positively to Pakistan''s offers for a dialogue to solve the dispute. An official statement said that Gen. Musharraf and the visiting dignitary agreed on the need to strengthen bilateral relations further and for forging greater unity among the ''Muslim ummah'' with the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) playing a leading role in forcefully supporting all Muslim causes including that of Kashmir. Seif el Islam last visited Pakistan in December 2001 as the special envoy of his father Col. Muammar Qaddafi with a message for Gen. Musharraf.


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