Shaukat Kashmiri Calls For Peace In South Asian Region
3 March 2009
Associated Press of Pakistan
: The founder and leader of United Kashmir People’s National Party (UKPNP) has said the South Asian region is simmering with tensions which could lead to catastrophic consequences. Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri was addressing a well attended public meeting here during his UK tour which was arranged by UKPNP’s national units. He underscored the need for settling core issues at the heart of instability and tension. Amongst many areas of tensions with potential to spark serious crises, he identified the issue of Kashmir between India and Pakistan as the core issue and said its resolution in accordance with the wishes of the Kashmiri people was overdue. He spoke of the massive goodwill among the people in South Asia to live in harmony and peace but said the short sighted policies of the rulers had driven them to the brink of foreverconfrontation and depriving them of their rights. Kashmiri called for pragmatic approach to the settlement of the issue. He said the Kashmiri movement has suffered at the hands of the jihadi outfits who divided Kashmiri people in the name of religion and ethnicity. Shaukat Kashmiri pinned his hopes on the civil society of India and Pakistan and vowed to forge greater ties with the peopledriven movements for the rights and dignity of common people. He added independence of judiciary and the rule of law will strengthen democracy in Pakistan and will also foster communal harmony. UKPNP leader urged his party cadres in the UK to make new alliances with liberal and democratic forces to spread awareness about the issue of Kashmir and inform people in Europe why they should side with the legitimate aspirations of the Kashmir people. Kashmir National Party leader Dr.Shabbir Chaudhry said it was true the people of Jammu and Kashmir are not happy with the status quo and they have suffered immensely over the past decades in order to get their fundamental rights, including most cherished and inherent right of self determination. During his weeklong stay in the UK, Shaukat Kashmiri held important meetings with cross party members of the UK Parliament including Charles Tannock, a Conservative MEP, Liberal Democrats MP Sarah Teather, Baroness Emma Nicholson, and the head of Foreign and Commonwealth’s South Asian section.