Solution Of Kashmir Issue Vital For World Peace: Attique
8 August 2007
Associated Press of Pakistan
London: Azad Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister Sardar Attique Ahmad Khan called for earliest solution to Kashmir issue for ensuring peace in the world.Addressing members of the Kashmir community and the 'Labour friends of Kashmir' at Slough, 50 miles west of the British capital, he said Kashmir along with Palestine and Iraq are the major international issues that need to addressed for the sake of the global peace. The Azad Kashmir Prime Minister, who has broken his journey in UK on his way back home from a visit to USA, Canada and South America, urged the British government to play its due role in the solution of the Kashmir dispute. 'UK could act as an ideal bridge between Pakistan and India to help speed up the solution of the Kashmir problem,' he told the gathering. The event was attended among others by British junior Minister Shahid Malik, Slough MP Fiona Margaret, Chairman, Labour Party, Slough, Chaudhry Safdar Ali, MLA Mahmood Riaz besides councillors and people from different walks of life. Sardar Attique also apprised the gathering about the recent Kashmir conference held in Washington, which advocated the need for the solution of the issue by involving the people of Kashmir in the peace process. He also welcomed the statement of the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in which he expressed his desire to turn the Line of Control into a line of peace and said this was a positive development. The AJK premier said the close cooperation between the Muslim Conference and the Labour Party was not a co-incident and this was mainly due to positive role of Fiona Margaret, Mahmood Riaz and Chaudhry Safdar Ali. He also felicitated Shahid Malik on becoming a member of the Gordon Brown's cabinet and said as the first British Muslim Minister this was indeed a proud achievement for the whole community. Sardar Attique noted that Malik's appointment will serve as a positive bridge between UK and Pakistan, which will facilitate in bringing the two countries further closer. He said the British Minister is held in high esteem both in Pakistan and Azad Kashmir. He urged the Kashmir community to integrate fully in the British society by taking active part in its economic, social and political life. Shahid Malik in his speech explained the role of the Department for International Development (DFID) in the aftermath of 2005 Pakistan earthquake and said UK will provide aid worth one thousand million US dollars to the South Asian country over a period of four years. Initially, he said UK gave US $ 100 million when the earthquake struck and this was increased to US $ 150 million for providing relief and in the reconstruction process. He said he plans to visit Azad Kashmir next month to see the areas devastated by the natural calamity and also to assess how further help could be useful in rehabilitation and reconstruction process. The Slough MP praised the role of the South Asian community in the progress and development of UK and also for electing her to represent them in the British Parliament. She said it was also encouraging to note that their voices were being heard in the corridor of power apart from representation at the grass root level. MLA Mahmood Riaz urged the international community including the United Nations and USA to play a more pro-active role in solving the Kashmir issue, which has bedevilled relations between Pakistan and India and kept the Kashmiris apart as well.