Musharraf assures full support to Kashmiris
12 March 2003
Lahore: Pakistan on Wednesday reaffirmed its full support to Kashmir freedom struggle saying for durable peace in the region as well as better ties with India, the Kashmir problem needed to be settled in a just manner. President General Pervez Musharraf while talking to the AJK President Sardar Muhammad Anwar Khan said, 'our support for the cause of Kashmiri people is based on principles and it will be on in the future on political, moral and diplomatic fronts with full force and vigor.' The AJK President called on General Musharraf to discuss latest situation of Jammu & Kashmir along with Kashmir freedom struggle and AJK politics, sources said. The Prime Minister AJK Sardar Sikander Hayat Khan meanwhile called on Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali. According to the sources, the President and Prime Minister urged the AJK leadership to harmonize their acts and have complete coordination with the opposition parties which they said was vital for the success of Kashmir freedom struggle. Musharraf said Pakistan would continue with its efforts and endeavors to normalize the tense situation in South Asia. He reiterated that just settlement of Kashmir issue was vital and major prerequisite for durable peace in South Asia. He said Pakistan was for better ties with India but not at the cost of Kashmir issue. He added that we were ready to resume talks with India at any level so that all outstanding issues including the core dispute of Kashmir could be resolved on permanent basis. Nonetheless, the President said that Indian intransigence was the main hurdle in the way of establishing durable peace in the region. He added that the international community must pressurize India to abdicate its belligerence and instead of that adopt rational approach. The President also assured AJK President of full cooperation and assistance on the part of Pakistani government for the progress and development of Azad Kashmir. In the meeting between Prime Minister Jamali and Premier AJK host of issues pertaining to AJK politics and development projects were discussed along with deliberations on latest situation in Indian Held Kashmir. The AJK Prime Minister said that Premier Jamali's address to the nation was the reflection of true aspirations of Kashmiri people. He added that Kashmiris were grateful to Pakistani government and nation for the exemplary support throughout the years. Jamali said Pakistan would continue to highlight the Kashmir cause at international level and the Kashmiris sacrifices would not go waste. Pakistani Premier assured AJK Prime Minister of his government's continued assistance for the development of Azad Kashmir. He told Sardar Sikander that the deduction of 40 crore rupees in development projects would not be carried out. He said that his government was intended to provide the AJK administration with more funds of 30 crore rupees for Azad Kashmir development and LoC affectees rehabilitation.