International Kashmir Conference: Pakistan committed to peace process with India: Aziz
16 March 2007
The Daily Times
Islamabad: Solution against aspirations of Kashmiris unacceptable ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said on Friday that Pakistan was committed to the peace process with India in a sincere, purposeful and constructive manner for final settlement of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the aspirations of the Kashmiris. He was addressing the inaugural session of a two-day international Kashmir conference titled Jammu and Kashmir Dispute: Models for Resolution organised by the Institute of Strategic Studies (ISS) and the Kashmir Institute of International Relations. Aziz said that a solution against the aspirations of the Kashmiris would not be acceptable. He said, Regional peace can only be assured if the Kashmir issue is resolved peacefully in accordance with the aspirations of the Kashmiris. Kashmiris and Pakistanis are united and support each other. He added that Pakistan appreciated the sacrifices made by Kashmiris in the struggle. He said that giving Kashmiris their rights would ensure peace, progress and prosperity in the region. Aziz said, Pakistan has entered into a dialogue process with India with firm commitment and sincere hope of resolving the Kashmir issue. Pakistan is ready to show courage and flexibility if all other stakeholders reciprocate. We recognise that the process will have its ups and downs and that there will be attempts to derail it, but we must remain steadfast and committed to our objectives of attaining sustainable peace in South Asia. He said the ongoing peace process had generated goodwill and raised the expectations of people from both sides. He said, We must seize the moment and create a brighter future for our future generations. The dialogue has provided us with an opportunity to shift from conflict management to conflict resolution and to settle the six decade dispute. He said Pakistan had involved Kashmiris in every step of the dialogue process, and called upon the Indian leadership to do the same. He said that President General Pervez Musharraf had shown tremendous courage and presented various proposals with the hope of finding a lasting solution to the issue. He urged the Indian leadership to respond positively to these proposals and to show the world their interest in resolving the issue. He extended moral and political support to the Kashmiris in their struggle, and said that Pakistan had always emphasised meaningful and constructive dialogue to resolve the dispute. Earlier, Kashmir Affairs Minister Maj (r) Tahir Iqbal said that the right to self-determination was a right granted to Kashmiris by the United Nations Security Council. He said Pakistan had taken a number of steps to ensure peace, including the unilateral cease-fire across the Line of Control (LoC), the Pak- India bus service and the opening of five points across the LoC. ISS Chairman Inamul Haq, ISS Director General Dr Shireen Mazari and Kashmir Institute of International Relations President Shah Ghulam Qadir also spoke on the occasion, attended by All Parties Hurriyat Conference leaders and delegates from various countries.