Pakistanís Stance On Kashmir Remains Unchanged: Gilani

8 October 2009
Associated Press of Pakistan


Muzaffarabad: Pakistan's stance on the Kashmir issue remains unchanged and Islamabad will continue to extend political, moral and diplomatic support to the people of Kashmir, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Thursday. He was addressing a memorial ceremony for the victims of the 2005 earthquake. Gilani said the people of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Indian-held Kashmir were inseparable. 'We are one and will remain so,' he said. The PM, who is on a daylong visit to the AJK capital, said, ďGiving autonomy to Gilgit-Baltistan will not affect Pakistan's stance on the Kashmir dispute.Ē He said resolution of the dispute had been a priority in the foreign policies of former premiers Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto and the present government remained committed to it. Also on Thursday, Gilani inaugurated the Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan Hospital constructed at Rs 2.24 billion with the cooperation of the United Arab Emirates. With state-of-the-art facilities, the hospital had been constructed at the site of the Combined Military Hospital, which was destroyed during the October 2005 earthquake. Gilani appreciated the provision of the latest facilities and equipment at the hospital, and said the people of the region and Pakistan would always remember this gesture. He said the government on its part would provide all necessary resources to ensure that the project is fully operational. Peace: To a question, Gilani said freedom was the right of the Kashmiri people and Pakistan believed that peace could not be established in South Asia without the resolution of the decades-long dispute. The PM was accompanied by AJK Prime Minister Sardar Yaqoob Khan, Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira and senior NWFP minister Bashir Ahmed Bilour. The 250-bed hospital has been designed, built and equipped by the Department of Municipal Affairs, Municipality of Abu Dhabi City, and is spread over an area of approximately 70,000 square metres with a covered area of around 15,000 square metres. A helipad is also part of the project and has been provided with two air ambulances. The residential complex has two hostels, an apartment building and a villa for the hospitalís medical superintendent. Separately, the PM also inaugurated the Government Boys Degree College at Garhi Dupatta, an area that had almost been destroyed following the October 2005 earthquake. Gilani, who flew to the site from Islamabad, said the Pakistan government was committed to providing all basic facilities to the area. He announced the upgrading of the college to post-graduate level and also directed the authorities to speed up construction on the girlsí campus. He said health and education were top priorities of the government and it would provide all available resources for this purpose. app