Pakistan Has Show Willingness For Kashmir Solution: Mushahid
29 November 2007
Associated Press of Pakistan
London: Pakistan has shown commitment, vision and resolve for the just and amicable solution of the Kashmir issue. This was stated by Senator Mushahid Hussein Syed while speaking on the second day of the International Peace Conference on Kashmir arranged by the Justice Foundation Kashmir Centre London at the Houses of Parliament on Thursday. He highlighted President Pervez Musharraf's out of the box initiatives offered to India on Kashmir and this has turned out to be his enduring legacy which would ultimately lead to peaceful solution to this 60-year-old dispute between the two countries and usher an era of progress and prosperity. The Senator said President's options on Kashmir have dispelled the impression that Pakistan military establishment was against the peaceful resolution of this conflict. India, he said, is not yet prepared to respond to Pakistan's pragmatic offers on Kashmir. He further said the changing regional landscape is now driven by energy and economic compulsions and in this regard he spoke about the impeding oil agreements between different countries of the region. Mushahid said the destiny of the people of Kashmir is intertwined with the economic development of the region. He explained that issues just do not disappear with the passage of time and remain there till they are solved. In this regard he quoted the examples of Palestine and Kashmir. Referring to the continued stalemate on the issue, the Senator said this status quo was no longer tenable in Kashmir and the key areas which could lead to its ultimate solution were reconciliation, self-determination and demilitarization. He also noted the role of Indian public and the political forces in the solution of Kashmir issue and pointed out the fact that due to the lack of support from these two elements, India's nuclear deal with USA has run into trouble and stands almost scuttled. The issue of Kashmir face a similar fate, he added. Mushahid thought that India has failed to secure permanent seat on the UN Security Council due to its repressive policies and violations of human rights in the Indian Occupied Kashmir as its contravenes UN principles. He said President's Musharraf four-point agenda on Kashmir has been fully endorsed by Pakistan political parties and it has their complete support. Even on Siachen, Mushahid explained India appears to have gone into a cold war mode and its military establishment has rejected any agreement on the frozen heights even though the ruling party had shown willingness to reach a meaningful Ultimately, he said it will be the people of Kashmir who will decide their own destination. He ruled out war as an option on Kashmir which would be resolved through protracted and tedious process of negotiations. British Parliamentarian Paul Rowan in his speech remarked that progress in Kashmir was very important as it was an impediment to peace in the region. 'The failure to resolve this issue is also holding back progress of both Pakistan and India,' he said while adding that any dialogue on Kashmir must include all the stakeholders. Referring to solution of Irish problem where two factions belonging to Protestants and Roman Catholic agreed to power sharing and ended their decades long conflict, he said the solution was reached after protracted talks and practical measures to reduce tension and remove other irritants. He said Pakistan and India could also work on the same logic by involving the people of Kashmir and bring the people of both sides of Kashmir together through confidence building measures. John Cushnahan, a former member of the European Parliament, said the process on Kashmir must be open-ended.' It must ensure a meaningful dialogue and the people of Occupied Kashmir must be able to chose their representatives freely.' He also urged the business community to take greater interest in economic progress of the State of Kashmir. Indian researcher Manisha Sobhrajani, Farooq Siddique, member of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front and Prof.Ashaf Saraf also spoke on the various dimensions of the Kashmir issue and underlined the need for a sustained dialogue and economic measures as a way toward resolving the conflict.