Islamabad declaration Indo-Pak centric: Amanullah Khan faction
18 May 2004
The Daily Excelsior
Daily Excelsior Correspondent
Jammu: Amanullah Khan's Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) today said that the Islamabad declaration of January 6 this year between India and Pakistan was meant to safeguard the interests of two countries rather than of Kashmiris as 'the declaration does not contain Kashmiris' right to self determination'. The outfit urged India and Pakistan to come out with a composite roadmap for the resolution of Kashmir issue. In a news conference here this morning, JKLF vice chairman, Sheikh Mohammed Afzal said that the proposed talks between India and Pakistan was key to the peaceful future of the subcontinent. 'The dialogue between the two neighbouring countries will be conducted in the backdrop of Islamabad declaration of January 6, 2004. However, the declaration doesn't contain Kashmiris' right to self determination, which besides being internationally accepted is their birth right,' he said. He pointed out that the people of the Jammu and Kashmir had not been considered as a party to the Kashmir issue. 'The declaration is meant to safeguard the interests of India and Pakistan rather than those of Kashmiris. Like previous declarations and agreements between the two countries, his organisation is not optimistic about the outcome of the talks and are likely to end up as a futile exercise,' he continued. He urged the leadership of two countries to make public their intentions and policies vis-à-vis Kashmir in the form of a joint roadmap. Afzal said that the proposed Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service was a welcome step provided it gave a chance to the Kashmiris on the either side of the Line of Control to meet their dear ones. 'We welcome it but if it's conditional and the people are bound to travel with passport and visa, we view it as a sinister design of converting the Line of Control into a permanent international border, which would be totally unacceptable to the Kashmiris.' He thanked the people of Pakistan for their unconditional, moral and political support to the Kashmiris and appealed the Pakistani leadership to review its 56-year-old Kashmir policy. He also congratulated the Indian electorate for cutting across the communal barriers in the just concluded Parliamentary elections and hoped that the people of India would impress upon their new government to resolve the Kashmir issue according to the wishes of Kashmiris.