April 2006 News

Pakistan Won't Accept LoC-based Solution

3 April 2006
The Nation

Islamabad: Terming the Line of Control (LoC) as part of Kashmir problem, Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri Monday said that Pakistan would not accept any LoC-based solution while flexibility and initiatives were only meant to alleviate sufferings of the people of disputed territory. The foreign minister was addressing the concluding session of a seminar on 'Conflict Resolution in Kashmir: The Human Dimensions and Political Imperatives.' 'The President's proposal for demilitarization and withdrawal of troops from urban centres was aimed at alleviating the sufferings of the Kashmiri people and improving the human rights situation,' he said. Speakers from Indian held Kashmir, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, India, Malaysia, and the US addressed the day-long seminar, organized by the International Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution of the National University of Science and Technology. 'Pakistan has made it clear that we cannot agree to any proposal which could be seen as altering the existing temporary status of the LoC and turning it into a permanent border. We have made it amply clear that no LoC-based solution will be acceptable to us since we consider the LoC as part of the problem, not a solution,' the foreign minister reiterated. Earlier, Sardar Khalid Ibrahim representing the Pakistani side of Kashmir pointed out that water issues between Pakistan and India pose serious threat to the confidence building measures if not due addressed. The indigenous movement of Kashmiris across the LoC be promoted and encouraged but the terror exchange must be arrested from both sides, he added. The first session of the seminar chaired by former minister of state for foreign affairs concluded with the need of an intra-Kashmir dialogue to submerge the divergence within the Kashmiri leadership on both sides of the LoC. Former AJK president Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan was the second worthy speaker in the first session who highlighted the changes in the mind-set of Kashmiris on both sides of the LoC after the October 8, 2005. In the second session Lt. Gen. (Retd) Talat Masud while giving out his observations said that the whole of Jammu and Kashmir be considered as disputed territory to look for an amicable solution to it. Prem Shanker Jha a columnist from New Delhi also underlined the need for extensive dialogue while giving out an Indian perspective to the human and political aspects of the Kashmir issue. In the third session Dr John Davies from the US highlighted risk factors associated with the peace process in addition to underlining the options for peace making in South Asia. Yasin Malik of JKLF unearthed the human sufferings in the prolonged dispute between the two countries. In the fourth session APHC Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was of the view that there were desperation amongst the Kashmiri people on both sides upon the lack of response or slow response from India to the Pakistani proposals still the continuation of the dialogue was only way out of this problem.


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