May 2005 News

Kashmir Solution Nearer Than Ever Before

9 May 2005
The Nation

Islamabad: Pakistan on Monday asked the various APHC factions to get united, saying that a solution to the core issue of Kashmir was nearer than ever before. Addressing his weekly Press briefing here, Foreign Office Spokesman Jalil Abbas Jilani said, 'It is very important that unity comes as soon as possible. Entire Hurriyat leadership is moving in that direction and we hope that Hurriyat will be united body as it was before.' He said, 'We believe that freedom struggle in held Kashmir has reached the decisive stage where a resolution of Jammu and Kashmir is nearer than ever before.' In response to a query about the differences over the peace process between the two APHC factions led by Mirwaiz Omar Farooq and Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Jilani said their disagreements were peripheral. To a question on Baglihar dam, Pakistani spokesman said that meeting the deadline of May 9, Pakistan on Monday forwarded its recommendations to the World Bank for the appointment of neutral expert to resolve the dispute over this vital issue with India. He said that the World Bank had proposed three names of neutral experts to Pakistan and India and had sought their opinion by May 9. When asked to divulge the name of its choice for neutral expert, Jilani said that all the three names of experts given by the World Bank were of international repute. However, he did not give further details about the recommendations made by Pakistan vis--vis the appointment of neutral expert. Responding a query, he said Pakistan would supply discarded parts of centrifuges to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) under some parameters, adding that the nature of these parameters could not be divulged but they were meant to protect Pakistan's security interests in best possible manner. Answering a question on Kashmiris' association with the peace process, he asked for the inclusion of Kashmiris in the ongoing Pakistan-India dialogue, saying with that they would be able to give their inputs and both the sides would get the aspirations of Kashmiris for the success of the talks' process. He also rejected as baseless, the repeated India allegations of cross border terrorism, saying that it was part of the propaganda to hide the ongoing oppression of the Kashmiri people by the Indian forces. Jilani also renewed Islamabad's condemnation to the publication of a highly derogatory cartoon about Pakistan in a US daily, The Washington Times while calling for launching an immediate inquiry to know the real motives behind the move. He said, 'Pakistan has asked for an inquiry to be conducted and the US administration has also expressed its displeasure over its publication and they are issuing an advisory to this effect.' He said this cartoon, the cartoonist and those who allowed the publication have not done any service to the forces of moderation. 'They have committed a kind of insult not only to the American administration but also to the American public,' he added. To a question on SAARC Summit, Jilani said Pakistan had got two sets of dates from Bangladesh for the holding of regional Summit in September or November, this year. 'Being Chairman of the SAARC, Pakistan has forwarded those dates to other member countries and is awaiting response from them,' he added. On proposed expansion of the UN Security Council, he reiterated Pakistan's principled position that it was against expansion in the permanent members' category. 'Pakistan feels that there should be no more centres of privileges and the world body should be democratic, responsive to the requirements of member countries and in line with the UN charter,' Jilani said. Earlier, in his opening statement, the Spokesman said Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri would embark on a six-day official visit to Australia and New Zealand from the 12th of this month. He said Kasuri would be visiting Australia from 12th to 14th while New Zealand from 16th to 17th of this month. 'This will be the first- ever visit of any Pakistani foreign minister to these countries which aims at promoting ties with them,' he added.


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