UN Resolutions On Kashmir Very Much Valid: FO
17 November 2003
Pakistan News Service
Islamabad: Pakistan Monday said the United Nations resolutions on Kashmir remain valid, legal and operative unless the world body comes out with a new resolution on the dispute. Dismissing remarks by the Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee who said the UN resolutions on Kashmir were 'old-ones', Foreign Office spokesman said 'the UN resolutions are valid and operative and have a legal basis and reflect the will of the international commmunity.' The spokesman Masood Khan said here at the weekly briefing 'India is using these dilatory tactics just to go into a denial that there is no dispute, they do not want to engage Pakistan (in talks).' He said India can hold a dialogue either on the basis of the Simla agreement or bilateral negotiations. However since the UN body has not come up with some new resolutions these resolutions are valid and not antiquated. He said Pakistan has been waiting for implementation of these resolutions and is ready to talk, but India continues to block these moves. President General Pervez Musharraf, he said, has offered comprehensive talks with India and presented a roadmap, but India is not ready to talk with Pakistan, he said. To a question about Prime Minister Vajpayee's claim that the demographic nature of Kashmir has changed, the spokesman said, 'so many people have been killed since 1947, people have been made to run for their lives, and this is one way of changing demographic composition. However, he added this has not happened and it does not affect in any way the UN resolutions. The UN resolutions, he said, has given a solution to the dispute between the two countries and calls for a plebiscite to ascertain the wishes of the Kashmiri people. The Simla accord calls for improving bilateral relations whereas the Lahore declaration caters to the list of agenda items. He said, 'we can start negotiations without being very theological and we know each other's position, but it is India which is not ready to negotiate.' He said Pakistan and India will be holding talks on the restoration of the air links on December 1 and 2. 'We shall go there with an open mind. Our position on overflights remains unchanged and will try to convince them.' Khan was very critical of the use of toy bombs by India against the civilian population living along the Line of Control. He said it was against the Geneva Conventions adding the 'senseless' practice has been going on for quite some time and should never target the non-combatants with deadly weapons. He said the children pick up the attractive bombs, thinking these to be toys with disastrous consequences. He said the repression in the Indian held Kashmir continues unabated and the people there are passing through prolonged traumatisation leading to health problems like post-traumatic stress disorder. He said the health facilities were inadequate and the people continue to suffer. The absence of a dialogue process between the two countries is leading to problems particularly with the dissatisfied Kashmiri youth. He said President Musharraf has time and again stressed for addressing the reasons for violence and to take care of the causes of militancy. To a question about the forthcoming Saarc summit in Islamabad, the Spokesman stated that it would not be held if India did not attend. He said, according to Saarc charter the meeting could only be held if agreed to by all member states. The End.