‘Political crisis affecting Kashmir issue’
23 November 2007
Muzaffarabad: Former AJK prime minister Sardar Sikandar Hayat on Friday observed that the situation obtaining in Pakistan had cast profound effect on Kashmir, apparently putting it on the backburner, and asked Islamabad not to forget the issue. “The current state of turmoil in Pakistan has attained alarming proportions and has provided India with opportunity to fortify its positions and resume military activities along the Line of Control,” he said at a press talk here. Pointing out that the talks on Kashmir, regardless of their utility, had also been put in abeyance due to the situation in Pakistan, Mr Hayat said “I am afraid the Kashmir dispute, which is not only an issue of the future of more than 12 million Kashmiris but also of Pakistan’s own stability and prosperity, should not disappear in the prevailing turmoil in Pakistan and I appeal to Islamabad not to forget Kashmir.” The former AJK premier stressed that Pakistan should not give any opportunity to India to strengthen its positions along the LoC. “Any weakness or unconcern in this regard will go to the benefit of India,” he said. Mr Hayat criticised the AJK government for “creating the issue of relocation of state capital” and thus rubbing salt on the wounds of the people who had already been devastated by the deadly Oct, 2005, earthquake. When questioned what would happen in AJK in the event of a political change in Pakistan, he pointed out that previously the governments in Muzaffarabad were never disturbed by Islamabad mainly because the former did not involve themselves in the affairs across Kohala.