No role for China in resolving Kashmir, says Islamabad
4 April 2006
B. Muralidhar Reddy
Islamabad: Pakistan on Tuesday ruled out any role for China in the resolution of the Kashmir issue and said the United Nations Resolutions recognised only India and Pakistan as parties to the dispute. 'According to the U.N. Resolutions, there are only two parties to the dispute — India and Pakistan. Of course Kashmiris are also a party,' Foreign Office spokesperson Tasneem Aslam told the media. She was responding to a question on the recent suggestion of All Parties Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq for involvement of China in the dispute. In his remarks on the sidelines of the World Social Forum in Karachi last week, the Mirwaiz was quoted as saying that China should be made a party to the dispute because not only a 'large chunk of territory' which was part of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir was under its possession, but also it was a major player in the region. Under a pact, Pakistan had ceded a large chunk of territory in the northern areas to China. The pact is subject to a final settlement of the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan. Ms. Aslam said that Mr. Farooq did not refer to Pakistan ceding territory under its control to China and his suggestion for inclusion of China was based on the status of the country in the region. Engaged in dialogue In response toa question whether or not Pakistan shared the Mirwaiz's optimism that a framework for resolving the Kashmir issue could be expected by the end of 2006, Ms. Aslam said India and Pakistan were engaged in dialogue at various levels for resolution of the issue. To another question, she said Pakistan expected India to take credible steps for reduction of 'human rights violations' in Jammu and Kashmir. Ms. Aslam refused to comment when asked about the recent statement made by India's High Commissioner Shivshankar Menon on New Delhi's proposal for a new visa regime between India and Pakistan. On India's proposal for opening a camp visa office in Karachi pending the opening of consulates in Mumbai and Karachi, she said that both countries were committed to opening consulates at the earliest. Pakistan's plans to start its consulate office in Mumbai suffered after the owner of the building which was rented went back on his promise and returned the advance money to Pakistan.