June 2004 News

'What Is Good For Pak Is Good For Kashmiris'

28 June 2004
The Times of India

New Delhi: Pakistan on Monday suggested the establishment of a mechanism to involve the people of Jammu and Kashmir 'at some stage' in the dialogue process to resolve the vexed issue, and said whatever satisfied Islamabad would satisfy Kashmiris. 'At some stage and point we must come up with a mechanism to associate representatives of the Kashmiri people because it is their fate that you are deciding and they must be associated with the process. It is the most desirable thing to do,' Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Masood Khan told reporters at the end of the two-day Foreign Secretary level talks between the two countries. 'But as of now there is no such mechanism. But as you go down the slope of dialogue and confidence building, you can come up with a mechanism if there is the requisite goodwill, understanding and momentum,' he said. Asked if such a mechanism was 'mandatory', Khan said it was 'imperative'. When pointed out that the Joint Statement issued after the talks mentioned that the Kashmir issue should be resolved to the 'satisfaction of both sides', he said 'what satisfies Pakistan will ultimately satisfy the Kashmiris. That's the simple answer'. Khan said there were three parties to the dispute and 'when you are resolving the issue, it would be both advisable and sagacious to consult the people of Jammu and Kashmir because they are the ones who are to decide their future political dispensation'.


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