Moot rejects 'United States of Kashmir'
18 December 2005
The Daily Times
Islamabad: Participants of a conference held to discuss the 'United States of Kashmir' proposal on Sunday called the formula ambiguous and a bid to divide the people of Kashmir. They also asked Kashmiris not to compromise on their right to self-determination.Most speakers said formulas on Kashmir that appeared time and again were meant to confuse Kashmiris and the 'United States of Kashmir' formula was also ambiguous. They said it would confuse the Kashmiri nation.The Jammu and Kashmir National Liberation Front convened the conference titled 'Future of the United States of Jammu and Kashmir'.JKNLF President Shaukat Maqbool Butt said the formula would complicate the Kashmir issue even more. 'We, the participants of this conference, are against Kashmir's division and have agreed that every Kashmiri should be given the right to self-determination,' he said. Kashmiris would also not accept self-governance without sovereignty, he said, adding that President Pervez Musharraf should not wait for India and should go ahead with troop withdrawal from the Line of Control (LoC).Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front Chairman Amanullah Khan also rejected the formula, saying Kashmiris should be let to decide their own future. He said Jammu and Kashmir could not be divided and Kashmiris had the right to make a decision about their future.'We want a federal, democratic, secular and independent Kashmir with good relations with neighbouring countries,' he added.Sardar Khalid Ibrahim, Jammu and Kashmir People's Party president, said the 'United States of Kashmir' formula was based on Kashmir's division.He said the formula, which was totally ambiguous, would strengthen the recognition of the LoC. He said the formula did not have any point on the Kashmiris right to self-determination. 'The people of Azad Jammu and Kashmir reject this formula,' he claimed.Noorul Baari, Azad Kashmir Jamaat-e-Islami naib amir, said nobody could divide Kashmiris by any formula. Justice (r) Abdul Majid Malik, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation League president, said the Kashmir formula was not only ambiguous, but also a bid to change the minds of Kashmiris and divert their attention from the real issue.Shahzad Agha, Giligt-Baltistan United Movement secretary general, alleged that Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, ISI and the US, thought up the formula. 'We reject it,' he said, adding that the people of Gilgit and Baltistan would decide their future on their own.Mirza Nadir of the Gilgit-Baltistan Forum said American inspiration was behind the formula. 'We should understand the move behind it,' he said, alleging that state brutality continued in Gilgit and Baltistan. He demanded Gilgit and Baltistan be empowered like Azad Jammu and Kashmir and given the right to decide its future.