India Stalling Peace Process To Destabilise AJK: Attique
8 September 2006
Islamabad: AJK Prime Minister, Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan on Friday said the Indian decision to stall the peace process, cease-fire violations on the Line of Control by its troops and the threats of 'hot pursuit' were aimed at destabilization of Azad Kashmir. In an exclusive interview with TheNation and Nawai-i-Waqt, Sardar Attique said, 'India created tension on the Line of Control by violating the cease- fire soon after the formation of new AJK government to stall the pace of reconstruction in Azad Kashmir. The Indians also want to create fear and anxiety among the donors so that they leave the quake-hit zones of Kashmir.' Nonetheless, the AJK Prime Minister expressed his resolve that the reconstruction of quake-hit areas would be geared up and in next few weeks it would be fully accelerated adding that the master plan for reconstruction was in final stages. 'We assured the donors that the tension on LoC would not impact the reconstruction activities in Azad Kashmir and we also give clear message to India that the shelling by its troops across LoC would not deter us,' he said. He said in initial phase, the important government offices would be shifted from Muzaffarabad to the places away from the fault line and the reconstruction would be carried out in accordance with the survey reports prepared by the Japanese experts. However, he said the complete reconstruction of affected areas would take at least five years. He said the AJK government has decided to observe solidarity day on October 8 every year to pay homage to the people who lost their lives in the devastating earthquake. Moreover, he added a park would be constructed with a monument and flags of all the donor states would be hoisted there. He said the heads of state and government from all the donor countries would be invited to the functions held annually in reverence to thousands of people killed in October 8 earthquake. To a question, the AJK Prime Minister said that he fully supported the Kashmir policy of President Musharraf who was striving for just solution to the core issue in accordance with aspirations of Kashmiri people. He rejected the impression of U-turn on Kashmir by President Musharraf saying it was baseless propaganda by the people who did not know anything about a single aspect of Kashmir issue. He said President Musharraf's initiatives on Kashmir have received acclamation by major world states and international organizations like the United Nations. To another query, Sardar Attique said he had invited the Chief Minister of Held Kashmir, Ghulam Nabi Azad to Azad Kashmir as a Kashmiri citizen adding that it was nothing unusual as in 1971 Sardar Abdul Qayum Khan, the veteran Kashmiri politicians had extended the invitation to the then Chief Minister of Held Kashmir. He said the cross LoC movement was the birth right of every Kashmiri citizen. He said his government would encourage the movement of Kashmiri people across the Line of Control. However, he lamented that India was creating hurdles in the way of interaction between Kashmiris on both sides of LoC. Answering a question on Kashmir Affairs Ministry, Sardar Attique said there was no need to do away with the ministry as it was not interfering in the Azad Kashmir affairs and instead fully cooperating with the state government. AJK Prime Minister said the ministers and other government functionaries in Azad Kashmir required great facilitation in transportation to monitor the massive reconstruction work in the state. He added that his government would soon ask the federal government for the provision of at least three helicopters. On cabinet expansion, Sardar Attique said no such proposal was being considered as of now but more ministers could be included in the cabinet in case we felt the need in future. Responding to a query on the creation of Muslim Conference (Haqiqi), he said the ruling party has constituted a committee to look into the reported grievances of some workers and it would soon submit its report to Central Working Committee.