December 2002 News

Qayyum not for conversion of LoC into border

29 December 2002
The Dawn
Our Staff Correspondent

MUZAFFARABAD: Presidential Kashmir Committee chairman Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan has never called for conversion of the Line of Control into permanent border between India and Pakistan , his spokesman said on Sunday while strongly contradicting reports attributing the proposal to the veteran Kashmiri leader. ''The statements in which the said proposal has been attributed to Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan have never been made by him. These are concocted and baseless stories,'' spokesman, Sarwar Hussain, said in a press release. He said the Kashmir Committee chairman had instead called for serious consideration to all such proposals regarding the efforts for the peaceful settlement of the longstanding Kashmir issue. ''Sardar Qayyum''s viewpoint is clear that instead of putting forward new proposals, we should analyse the suggestions coming from responsible quarters,'' the spokesman added, without specifying such quarters. ''Sardar Sahib,'' the spokesman said, ''was fully aware of the consequences of such a proposal and he is of the view that since we have a very solid stand, we can openly talk on any suggestion.'' The spokesman recalled that during the Zulfikar Ali Bhutto''s tenure, it was strong opposition by Sardar Abdul Qayyum that led the former to withdraw his suggestion of conversion of the LoC into permanent border. ''Even during the Ziaul Haq''s time, another proposal that the Kashmiris be allowed to travel across the LoC through passport and visa died in the initial stages due to Sardar Qayyum''s objection.'' As the president of Azad Kashmir, Sardar Qayyum had ordered through a circular that the LoC be referred to as ceasefire line, the spokesman added. ''Sardar Abdul Qayyum is the symbol of Pakistan in Kashmir. He has spent his whole life in promotion of the slogan of Kashmir''s accession to Pakistan. Attributing such statements to him and subjecting him to uncalled criticism is highly painful and regrettable,'' the spokesman said. He said the veteran politician Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan and other responsible persons should have read Sardar Qayyum''s statement with reference to its context, before making any comments on it. The Nawabzada had reportedly expressed his regrets over Sardar Qayyum''s ''proposal of conversion of LoC into permanent border.'' Similarly, without directly naming Sardar Qayyum, Kashmir''s dominant fighter group, Hizbul Mujahideen, had also taken strong exception to those politicians ''who were putting forward such proposals and thus impairing the freedom struggle.'' The spokesman pointed out that Sardar Qayyum was on record having declared at the recent meeting of Muslim Conference working committee that ''no one can implement such a proposal at least in his life.''


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