Pak denying Kashmiris right for self determination: JKLF
16 June 2006
The Daily Excelsior
Islamabad: Separatist group JKLF has accused Pakistan of denying Kashmiris their 'right for self determination' by rejecting nominations of pro- independence candidates for PoK Assembly elections. The mass rejection of nomination papers of candidates from pro-independence Kashmiri groups for Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) Assembly for their refusal to sign a declaration swearing on 'accession' of Kashmir to Pakistan negated Islamabad's oft repeated claim of supporting Kashmiris' right for self determination, JKLF said. In an identical letter to President Pervez Musharraf, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, heads of Pakistan's political parties and the official human rights organisations, JKLF leader Amanullah Khan said Pakistan, while accusing India of 'denying rights of Kashmiris,' has resorted to the same practices. 'These type of actions (rejection of nominations) by Pakistan had created an impression on international level that, like India, Pakistan was also interested in the proprietorship of the land of Kashmir and not in the whishes and aspirations of its people,' a statement by JKLF quoted him as saying in his letter. The nomination papers of about 50 candidates for PoK Legislative Assembly including 30 belonging to JKLF were rejected because they had solemnly declared their belief in complete independence of Jammu and Kashmir State instead of the state's accession to Pakistan. 'This was deadly against the principles envisaged in the UN charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Resolutions on Kashmir, the basic principles of democracy as also against Pakistan's own claims of supporting Kashmiris' right of self-determination,' Khan said. Reacting to protests from Kashmiri groups, Pakistan Foreign office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said Islamabad had nothing to do with such rules which were part of the constitution of PoK. She said the constitution of PoK was drafted by leaders there and if such a clause existed, it was part of PoK constitution and not that of Pakistan. Responding to Aslam's assertions, JKLF secretary Saghir Khan said the draft of the rules were first approved by Pakistan Government and later handed over to the PoK President.