May 2003 News

Kashmiri Leaders Reject Chenab Formula

23 May 2003
The Nation

Islamabad: The Kashmiri leadership on Friday rejected the much talked about Chenab formula, saying any solution to the core issue of Kashmir that was imposed from outside would be unacceptable to them. The Kashmiri leaders including the APHC office-bearers, AJK President Sardar Anwar Khan, former president Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan, Amanullah Khan, JKLF chief, Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan, President Muslim Conference ( AJK ), Sardar Ijaz Afzal, Ameer JI ( AJK) and many others extended full support to talks with India, but warned that any attempt to ignore the Kashmiris would lead to catastrophic situation in the region. They were addressing a ceremony held here to pay homage to martyred Kashmiri leaders, Mir Waiz Maulana Muhammad Farooq and Abdul Ghani Lone for their services and role in Kashmir freedom struggle. Former President and Millat Party Chief Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari also participated. In his address, the AJK president said nowadays a lot was being said about the Chenab formula but he wanted to make it clear that the government of Pakistan had not asked anyone in the entire AJK administration to float this idea. He said Pakistan on its part came up with several Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) on Kashmir so it was need of the hour that India also take steps such as cease-fire and end to grave human rights violations in Occupied Kashmir. This, he added, would lessen tension in the region. Sardar Qayyum said that Pakistan and the Kashmiris should not propose any formula for the resolution of Kashmir problem as it would badly harm our case. However, he said there was no harm in discussing any serious proposal that came from the Indian side. He said Pakistan should take a clear stance whether it was one of the basic parties to the Kashmir issue. He lamented that Indian demands were on the rise due to, what he said, our unclear stance, adding that now Pakistan was being asked to send its troops to the AJK and crush the militant organisations. He warned against any trade and cultural ties with India, saying that any such move would result in the collapse of Pakistani economy apart from ruining our cultural heritage. He asked the Pakistani government to take Kashmiris into confidence on talks to India, adding that in 1948 Pakistan lost the battle that was won on the battlefield as the Mujahideen were not consulted before negotiating with India. Farooq Leghari said the Kashmir freedom movement could not be termed terrorism as it was a genuine freedom struggle aimed at liberation from the oppressive rule of India. He added that if it was a terrorism then the American freedom struggle was not a different case. He said Kashmir could not be separated from the genesis of Pakistan and Pakistani nation always supported the freedom struggle of valiant Kashmiri people. He, however, said keeping in view the fast changing global conditions 'we also had to change our strategy.' He added that it was need of the hour to highlight Kashmiris struggle as genuine freedom movement. Sardar Attique said that Chenab formula could be the personal view of AJK Prime Minister Sardar Sikandar Hayat Khan but it had nothing to do with the ruling party, Muslim Conference and its government in Azad Kashmir. He said trade with India at the cost of huge sacrifices rendered by Kashmiris was unacceptable, adding that bilateralism had completely failed to address Pak-India issues. He said the Kashmiri people fully supported talks between Pakistan and India, but before that they must also be taken into confidence. Sardar Ijaz Afzal said, 'we were not against the Pak-India dialogue process but any effort to address the problems must not be a deviation from the national interests.' He added that it was regrettable to talk about maintaining the sanctity of LoC before the dialogue process. Amanullah Khan said any solution that was imposed from outside would not be accepted by Kashmiri people. He added that efforts to make new cease-fire line on river Chenab would fail, saying each and every solution of the Kashmir issue must have the role of Kashmiris. Prof. Ashraf Saraf said any plan to divide Kashmir would meet certain failure as Kashmiris were fully united against such nefarious designs. He said the Musharraf government took various steps such as ban on Jihadi organisations due to certain compulsions in response to international demands but if such things could not improve the situation the results would be catastrophic.


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