PoK PM Questions Hurriyat's Role In Kashmir
25 June 2005
The Indian Express
Islamabad: Prime Minister of Pakistan occupied Kashmir Sardar Sikender Hayat Khan has questioned the representative character of the Hurriyat conference and said its decisions on Kashmir cannot be accepted in view of its divisions and limitations, days after according a warm welcome to the leaders of the conglomerate. 'How can we accept any decision (on Kashmir) by those who live under compulsions, do not have unity among themselves and lack representation of all regions,' he said while referring to Hurriyat Conference during a debate in the PoK Assembly yesterday 'the decision of Kashmiris from both sides, including the non-Muslims, will be welcomed but implementing a decision of one faction or an area cannot be accepted,' he was quoted as saying by local daily Dawn today. He also said that no representative of Jammu region had so far visited Pakistan. Referring to the divisions among Hurriyat members, Hayat appealed to hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani to close ranks with the moderate leaders. He also reminded Geelani that divisions have adversely affected the Kashmiris since 1947. Hayat also lashed out at Opposition members for criticising his government for not allocating funds for the 'freedom movement'. 'Do they want me to raise an army or establish a GHQ,' Hayat said adding it was he who had established Kashmir liberation cell in 1987 before the beginning of armed struggle. He also said that there was a 'misconception' that PoK was getting liberal grants from the federal government. The PoK government had demanded Rs 54 billion as its share in the five- year plan but the federal government agreed to give only Rs 39 billion. 'Out of Rs 39 billion, our allocation in the first year should have been Rs 7-8 billion but we have been given only Rs 5.1 billion,' he said adding Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz was scheduled to visit Muzaffarabad on June 30 to chair the PoK council meeting and would take up the issue of funds with him. He said PoK council was deducting 20 per cent of taxes collected from the territory for its administrative expenses. Maintaining that the rate was too high and he had requested Aziz to reduce it to five per cent. The recent salary raise given to government servants in Pakistan would also be implemented in PoK, he added.