July 2004 News

Pakistan has no right to speak for Kashmiris: JKLF

4 July 2004
The Hindu
Our Staff Correspondent

New Delhi: The Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) has criticised Pakistan for speaking on behalf of the Kashmiri people who are 'neither legally nor constitutionally part of Pakistan.' In a statement from London, the JKLF leader, Shabir Choudhry, said Pakistan had not been appointed to represent Kashmiris. 'Pakistan is a party to the dispute by its de facto position in Kashmir; as a party of the dispute it could only speak and protect its own interests; and cannot speak on behalf of the third party because of conflict of interest,' he said. Dr. Choudhry's reaction comes in response to the Pakistani Foreign Affairs spokesman, Masood Khan's statement that what satisfied Islamabad would ultimately satisfy the Kashmiris. Dr. Choudhry said what satisfied Islamabad did not even satisfy Pakistanis of Sindh, Baluchistan and the Frontier Province, how could it satisfy the Kashmiris? Pointing out that it was only logical that Pakistan protect its own interest on the negotiation table, and the interest of the Kashmiris would be secondary to Pakistani officials, Dr. Choudhry said it was because of this demand that the Kashmiri people want a seat on the negotiating table so that they can present their case and fight to preserve Kashmiriyat and Kashmiri interests.


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