CBMs making LoC irrelevant will resolve Kashmir issue: FM

17 May 2008
The Daily Times

Islamabad: Kashmir-specific confidence-building measures (CBMs) making the Line of Control (LoC) irrelevant will lead to the solution of the Kashmir issue, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Saturday. “Pakistan wants good ties with India as better relation between the two will help resolve all outstanding issues, including the core issue of Kashmir,” Qureshi said during a four-hour interactive session with leaders from Azad Kashmir and Indian-held Kashmir (IHK). The session took place ahead of the Pak-India ministerial meeting on May 21. “We want to promote relations between Kashmiris on both sides of the Line of Control and make the LoC irrelevant to resolve the issue,” sources privy to the meeting quoted Qureshi as telling the Kashmiri leaders. The Foreign minister supported the United Nations’ resolution on Kashmir, but also defended the on-going peace process and CMBs with India. He said Pakistan wanted to break the status quo on Kashmir, the sources said. Indian Constitution: They said that Kashmiri leaders said the people of Kashmir would not accept any solution of the issue under the Indian Constitution “as it will negate their right to self-determination”. A Foreign Office statement said that Qureshi had reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to seeking a just and peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people. Separately, Syed Yousuf Nasim, who led the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) delegation from the IHK, told Daily Times that Kashmiri leaders from both sides of the divide were satisfied with the interactive session with the foreign minister. He said Qureshi had said that Pakistan’s policy on Kashmir was same as it was 60 years ago. He said Kashmiri leaders demanded that the Kashmir freedom movement should not be equated with ‘terrorism’. “We told the Foreign minister that Indian forces are committing terrorism,” Nasim said. Kashmir Affair Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira, Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir and Pakistan High Commissioner to India Shahid Malik assisted Qureshi in the briefing. APHC leaders from IHK who attended the meeting included Syed Yousuf Naseem, Tahir Masood, Faiz Naqshbandi, Ashraf Saraf, Mehmood Ahmad, Abdul Majid Malik, Altaf Wani, Dr Afzal, Farooq Rehmani, Ghulam Muhammad Saffi, Ishtiaq Hameed, Ghulan Nabi Nosheri, Shiekh Yaqoob and Rafiq Dar. Leaders from Azad Kashmir included President Raja Zulqarnain, Prime Minister Sardar Atiq Ahmad, former president Abdul Qayyum Khan, former prime ministers Sikandar Hayat and Barrister Sultan, Khalid Ibrahim and Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) leader Amanullah Khan.