JKLF Blames Pak For Somersaults In Kashmir Policy
22 August 2005
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: A top London-based Kashmiri separatist leader has accused Pakistan of frequent 'somersaults' in its policy on Jammu and Kashmir and asked Islamabad to import 'some democracy' from India which would be a good Confidence Building Measure (CBM). 'We have seen somersaults in Pakistan's policy on Jammu and Kashmir...And each shift in the policy was made in the name of Kashmiris and the country's national interest,' JKLF's Diplomatic Committee chairman Shabir Choudhry said in a statement from London. 'It is a different matter that Pakistan is yet to determine its national interest,' he added. Dr Choudhry, who is also the Director of the London-based Institute of Kashmir Affairs, said India has not moved an inch from its official stand on Kashmir despite the peace process, dialogue and agreements over the years. 'It is Pakistan which is losing ground by offering different options everyday, often contradicting earlier statements. This indicates weakness in Islamabad's case on Kashmir and that there is no serious planning and coordination among different departments which deal with the Kashmir issue,' he added. Dr Choudhry said Pakistan is not too much concerned about the interest and welfare of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, but about the state's water, other natural resources and its strategic importance. 'We are not against the friendly relationship between India and Pakistan neither do we want Islamabad to import onions and potatoes from New Delhi...Far from it, we want more trade between the two countries. And we suggest that Pakistan should import some democracy from India as well, and that will be considered a very good CBM,' the JKLF leader said. He said more CBMs, especially Kashmir centric, should be introduced which could bring relief to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Dr Choudhry suggested opening of more routes so that the people could meet and interact with each other through visits of elected members of assemblies of Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan- occupied Kashmir (PoK) and also leaders of Gilgit and Baltistan, ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir, release of all political prisoners and inclusion of the people of Jammu and Kashmir in the ongoing dialogue process. 'If immediate attention is not given to these issues, then the Kashmir issue will remain on the backburner for sometime to come, and people of Jammu and Kashmir will continue to suffer,' he added.