Imran Calls For Demilitarization From Entire Kashmir
10 November 2004
Islamabad: Imran Khan has called for the demilitarization of the entire Jammu and Kashmir and holding of elections under the UN to establish the true representatives of the Kashmiri. He was addressing a press conference at the party's Central Secretariat on Wednesday upon his return from a 4-day trip to India. He was one of the keynote speakers in the Hindustan Times Leadership Conference in New Delhi. During the trip Akbar S. Babar, Central Information Secretary of the party, accompanied him. Imran Khan said that during his visit to India he met Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee besides other leading politicians and business leaders. He also visited the shrine of Nizamuddin Aulia and Ajmer Shariff. He also had Iftar dinner with the Imam Jamia Masjid in New Delhi and addressed thousands of Muslims at the Jamia Masjid Delhi after offering prayers. The PTI Chief said that during his meetings with Indian leadership he stressed that no issue is intractable if the leadership has the will and determination to reach a just solution. He gave the example of Nelson Mandela and De-Klerk who found a just solution to the otherwise complex issue of apartheid. He said during his meeting with Mrs. Sonia Gandhi he stressed the need for a fresh approach to deal with the terrorism. The present war on terror is increasingly pushing more moderates to extremism instead of marginalizing the extremists. It is time for a fresh approach that addresses the root causes first and the use of force should be a last option. Mr. Khan invited Mrs. Sonia Gandhi to visit Pakistan, as it would further strengthen the peace process. He said Mrs. Gandhi expressed her desire to visit Pakistan at a not too distant future. The PTI Chief said that during the conference he disagreed with Farooq Abdullah's contention to freeze the Kashmir issue for 20 years. Instead he proposed that: First and foremost demilitarization of the entire Jammu and Kashmir, elections under the auspices of the UN to elect the real representatives of the Kashmiris followed by final status negotiations between the 3 parties (Pakistan, India, and the elected Kashmiri representatives) to determine the final status of Kashmir. The PTI chief stressed that any surgical division of Kashmir' or the Kashmiris and the people of Pakistan will reject LOC as the international boundary even with adjustments. He said any unjust solution would further destabilize Pakistan and the region.