Kashmir Should Be Declared Nuclear-free, Says Attique

13 April 2008

Lahore: Azad Kashmir Prime Minister Sardar Attique Ahmad has said that Kashmir should be declared as nuclear free zone and the Kashmiri leadership from both sides of the divided state should be included in the ongoing peace process. Talking to journalists during his short stay to Lahore on Sunday, Attique stressed the need of regular interaction between the administrations of Muzaffarabad and Srinagar for the resolution of the Kashmir issue and asked the coalition government in Islamabad to continue peace process and the Kashmir policy, initiated by President Pervez Musharraf. 'President Musharraf introduced a comprehensive Kashmir policy which is acceptable in both parts of Kashmir,' he said, and added that both Pakistan and India have different approach and commitments over the longstanding Kashmir issue. 'India wants to improve its relations with Pakistan and ready to install peace in Kashmir to improve its image worldwide,' he said. Attique told the reporters the Indian government desirous to play an international role. To a question, he said that the trade cooperation only between Pakistan and India could not be supportive. 'The trade between Pakistan and India through Kashmir can be fruitful,' he suggested. He also called the vision and approach of President Musharraf for regional and international issues as valuable. Azad Kashmir has good human rights record besides complete system of law and justice but the Indian part has less facilities even has deplorable rights situation, he said. Reposing confidence over the Hurriyat leadership, the premier said that the Hurriyat Conference was the representative of all Kashmiris and all prominent politicians including Shabbir Ahmad Shah were part of the conglomerate. Both Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Ali Shah Geelani were the important and respectable leaders and the Azad Kashmir government extending full cooperation to these leaders, he said. Geelani was a seasoned politician and he had experience in working with the Indian establishment, he added. Attique asked all politicians especially to PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari and PML-N leader Mian Nawaz Sharif to promote and support democratic culture in Pakistan. He said that Kashmiris should be allowed to meet each other independently. The interaction between Kashmiris would lead a better resolution of the issue, he added.