'Kashmir At Core Of Govt Foreign Policy'

3 February 2009
The Nation


Islamabad: Kashmir issue is at the core of foreign policy of the PPP government as peace cannot be ensured in the region unless a permanent solution is found to the decades old dispute, said Raza Rabbani, Leader of the House in Senate. He was speaking at a conference held here in connection with Kashmir Solidarity Day, which will be observed across Pakistan and Azad Kashmir on February 5. He said Kashmiris have set an example for the free people by continuously struggling despite all the torture and barbarism that they endured. He said Kashmir issue always remained core issue for the successive democratic governments and the present government has the full realisation that there can be no permanent peace without resolution of Kashmir dispute. Shaheed Zulfiqar Bhutto was the one who brought Kashmir issue on the front line. Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto also formed a group in OIC and All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) got recognition for the first time. Kashmiri people have just demanded for self determination right in accordance with UN resolution and only dialogue can pave the way for settlement of the issue, he said. Despite recognition of the facts, United Nations is unable to implement its resolution and disappointed the hopes of the nation, he said. Leader Jamaat-i-Islami Qazi Hussain Ahmad said that the acceptance of Kashmiris’ just struggle for right to self-determination by international community is the result of their prolonged and untiring struggle. The future of Pakistan and Kashmir is interlinked and interdependent and representatives from all political parties must adopt a very clear stance on Kashmir, he said. The importance of history and ongoing struggle of Kashmir should be embedded in the minds of the younger generation especially students of colleges and universities, he said. United Nations has passed more than 22 resolutions on Kashmir and the international community extended cooperation to Pakistan on the issue, he recalled. He emphasised that the integrity and security of Pakistani nation require the earliest solution of this issue. 170 million Pakistanis are unanimous that Kashmiris should get their right to self-determination and that thought and spirit has remained strong and will not weaken, he said. Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Chairman Kashmir Committee urged the participants to renew the commitments and project a strong message through this conference in support of Kashmir cause. About the issue of terrorism, he stressed the need to bring change in foreign policy to ensure stability in the country as a stabilized Pakistan can better fight for the Kashmiris. Through a message, Syed Ali Gilani, Senior Leader APHC expressed solidarity to the Kashmiri masses and said India is still subjugating the rights of innocent Kashmiri people. But nuclear forces cannot succeed in their nefarious designs till the muslim nation is united. Speaker AJK Assembly, Shah Ghulam Qadir proposed that a National Kashmir Policy must be devised. Keeping aside biased approach, he urged members of all political parties to issue a declaration in consensus for the just solution of Kashmir issue after this conference. President AJK Raja Zulqarnain and AJK Prime Minister said that Kashmir issue can be resolved through referendum in line with UN resolution. The speakers paid glowing tributes to martyrs as well as leaders and people of Occupied Jammu and Kashmir for their unprecedented sacrifices and relentless struggle for their right to self-determination. According to the unanimously agreed declaration, National Kashmir Conference assured the people of Kashmir that the people of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir will continue their moral, diplomatic and political support in their just struggle for freedom. The only solution to the Jammu and Kashmir dispute is to give the people of the State the opportunity to exercise their right through impartial and free and fair plebiscite, a right not only conceded by India and Pakistan, but also by the world community through UNSC resolutions on Kashmir, the declaration added. Plebiscite is the only solution to the dispute which is in line with the urges of the people of Kashmir and feelings of the people of Pakistan, it added. The National Conference rejects the Indian designs to malign the Kashmir freedom struggle and to label it as a terrorist movement. Rather it considers violations of basic human rights, killings of people, demolition of houses and shops, crimes against humanity and state terrorism and it urged the United Nations to impress upon India to immediately stop the violations of basic human rights in Kashmir. The conference also stressed the need of launching an international campaign and convening a special OIC meeting to project strong view point against Indian nefarious designs. This Conference also drew attention towards accomplishing the dream of Quaid-e-Azam to make Azad Kashmir the real base camp of the ongoing freedom struggle by providing reinforcement on all fronts including political, moral and diplomatic.