Independent Kashmir Is Impossible: Qayyum
26 September 2005
The Pakistan Tribune
New Delhi: Ruling out the possibility of an independent Kashmir, former 'prime minister' of Azad Kashmir Monday hoped that the ongoing India- Pakistan peace process would solve all issues, including militancy in Jammu and Kashmir . 'An independent state is not possible, and will remain only as a dream,' Sardar Mohammad Abdul Qayyum Khan, also chief of the All Jammu Kashmir Muslim Conference, said at an interactive meet organised by Observer Research Foundation (ORF), a think thank dealing with foreign policy issues. 'Considering the geopolitical situation in Central Asia and reservations against Muslim countries worldwide, we don't really bother about independence now,' Khan noted. 'Most importantly, the peace process should continue. Once it is guaranteed, it would take care of other issues - politics, policies and attitudes on both sides.' But Khan warned against putting conditions on the peace talks. 'We have wasted 50 years, talking and arguing about the past. Now we should move on to catch up with the world.' He stressed that intra-Kashmir dialogues between parties, institutions and people should continue . Answering a question on madrassas encouraging militancy, Khan said Pakistan itself was a victim of this phenomenon. 'We ourselves are in trouble. Our politics is in trouble. Many other Muslim countries are also in trouble, not just India,' he said . However, Khan rejected the view that elections in AJK were never fair. 'It is not right. This is misinformation.' Speaking at the meet, former IHK governor and former central minister Jagmohan suggested the governments of India and Pakistan should work jointly to remove backwardness and illiteracy. Khan is currently in India with a 14-member delegation.