April 2006 News

Pakistan Took 15 U-turns On Kashmir

1 April 2006
The Nation

Islamabad: A Kashmiri leader on Saturday said that the dialogue process between India and Pakistan for resolving the long-standing Kashmir conflict was not on right track. 'Pakistan's efforts to solve the Kashmir dispute were not on right direction and satisfactory,' Amanullah Khan, Chairman Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) said this while addressing a press conference at Karachi Press Club. He said that President General Pervez Musharraf had 'frequently' presented 'several suggestions' about the Kashmir issue, which were 'ambiguous, contradictory and aimed at throwing Kashmiris in yoke of permanent slavery.' The best solution of the dispute will be united and an independent Kashmir, whose relations with India and Pakistan should be friendly, he added. Amanullah Khan, chief of his own faction of JKLF, said that confidence-building measures had been started since 1990s, which resulted in starting of bus service that was a positive step. However, the process has not gone beyond it, he said adding that the peace process would bring 80 per cent damages to the Kashmiris. Referring 'an agreement' in 2006, he said that it was the most damaging for the Kashmir cause as self-determination was not mentioned in it nor the Kashmiris were made party of the dispute. He alleged that Pakistan's Kashmir policy was not right. Participation of Kashmiris in the process was not 'extremely necessary' as the basic thing was to resolve the issue according to their wishes, he added. Talking about suggestions of President Musharraf about the Kashmir conflict, Amanullah Khan said that Pakistan has taken 15 times U-turns on the Kashmir dispute since partition. He claimed that Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah had never said that Kashmir was 'jugular vein' of Pakistan. He pointed out that Pakistan had taken two U-turns on the Kashmir issue during 2005. He said, 'President Musharraf in an Ifftar party arranged by Federal Information Minister Sheikh Rashid suggested self-rule for Kashmir, which was ambiguous'. UN control could have become effective only when there had been good relations between India and Pakistan, he added. 'Demilitarisation' was good thing but it should not be made a destiny or permanent solution of the dispute, he added. He pointed out that JKLF had prepared complete 'roadmap' for the Kashmir crisis, which included making it democratic, secular and federal state and holding referendum after 15 years. He alleged that India and Pakistan had made the Kashmir as their 'national ego.' To a question, he said that Mirwaiz Omer Farooq's suggestion of 'united Kashmir' was not different from his party's roadmap. To another question, Amanullah Khan said that Pakistan had prepared new map for Kashmir around 3-4 years ago, which did not mention the part of dispute Himalayan valley under control of China as part of the Kashmir. About demands of several groups pertaining to 'regional autonomy' in Kashmir, he said that the issue would be further complicated if it was not resolved immediately. He believed that Pakistan could not get the Kashmir through military use and diplomatically. He pointed out that in the past, 11 among total 15 members of UN Security Council had supported the Kashmir.


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