September 2003 News

JI and HM to back Gillani as APHC chief

9 September 2003
The Daily Times
Staff Report

ISLAMABAD: Jammat-e-Islami (JI) and Hizbul Mujahidin said that the two parties support the selection of Syed Ali Gillani as chairman of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) in a press conference on Tuesday.'Mr Gillani is a leader of national standing and has played a role in the Kashmir freedom struggle throughout his life. That's why JI would support him if he became the chief of the APHC,' said Jamaat-e-Islami Azad Jammu and Kashmir Amir Sardar Ejaz Afzal Khan.Mr Khan said if any divisions arose in APHC, JI would support the faction favouring Kashmir's accession to Pakistan. Mr Gillani has contributed his whole life for this cause, he said. 'Though the decision of a no-trust move against Abbas Ansari was hard, it was the decision of the majority vote among APHC member parties, and JI would support that decision,' he said. Talking about the arrest of engineer Ahsan Aziz Mr Ejaz said it has been more than three months and there is no information about his whereabouts. 'The attitude of the authorities responsible is wrong and sends the wrong message to the Kashmiri people,' Mr Ejaz said. He said if Ahsan Aziz were not found the Kashmir people would hold a protest in front of the parliament building in Islamabad.Mr Ejaz said the main focus of his recent visits to Germany, Norway, Sweden and Saudi Arabia was to highlight the Kashmir issue.'During our meetings with officials and think-tank organisations in different countries we urged them to play their roles in resolving the Kashmir issue according to the United Nations Security Council resolutions,' Mr Ejaz said.He said, 'We support the 'dialogue process' but it will only work if India admits that Kashmir is disputed territory and an international issue rather than a bilateral one.'On the half-hearted invitation of dialogue from the Indian prime minister, the government immediately jumped to announce confidence building measures but this resulted in problems,' he said. He made it clear that JI would not accept any division in Kashmir and there was only one solution to Kashmir and that was its accession to Pakistan. 'The Pakistani Foreign and Information ministers are giving indications of resuming talks with India and giving a certain formula for the resolution of the Kashmir issue within a specific time, but the Kashmiri people would not accept any such formula or division of the valley against their wishes.Talking to the Daily Times on Tuesday Hizbul Mujahideen spokesman Saleem Hashimi said Syed Ali Gillani was their leader and his integrity is unquestionable.He said there would be no split in the APHC because it was a routine matter under a democratic system. 'If Mr. Gillani becomes the chief of the APHC, it would strengthen the Kashmir freedom movement and we would back him,' Mr Hashmi said.


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